Life And Death Among The Xerox People Summary

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An analysis of Cabral’s Life and Death Among the Xerox People: Progression of Technology and Mechanized Life

Olga Cabral’s, “Life and Death Among the Xerox People” is an extended metaphor aiming to make relevant the effects of technological progress in society. Cabral asserts a new perspective for the audience, using the title as a connection between “xerox” (a copying process) and the people in the poem. Historically, the Xerox corporation began in the 1960s and has had success in progressing their copy machine and being a role model to other companies by introducing diversified labor. The scheme of the poem, however, unfolds through a comparison to the death penalty. In the 1960s, the death penalty became a topic worthy of discussion, as people began questioning the government's role in deciding the rights of citizens. Olga Cabral references both of these civil movement components throughout the poem, “Life and Death Among the Xerox People”, to portray how society may seem to be progressing through technology, but in fact, is making its way back down the timeline of societal progression, step-by-step.
The hierarchy Cabral describes in the poem tends to see the workers, but not as people. Immediately as it begins, the audience gets an insight of “the wrong office” (1) being described when Cabral writes, “not a soul knew me / but they said: Sit Down” (3-4). The authority developed by the word “they” concentrates on a grouping of administration that directs the speaker’s

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