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Corruption in “Motives and Thoughts” by Lauren Hill

The poem “Motives and Thoughts” by Lauren Hill, discloses a distinctive way of life in many societies at present. It is evident that corruption is a significant meaning of the poem. The poet explains that corruption is a vice with deep roots in every human life, “While vice and corruption take over the world”. Above all, since human beings fell into a world filled with corruption, they cannot split from the reality of being corrupt. This essay attempts to discuss the theme of corruption and how the poet highlights it as a vice in the entire poem.

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Every society teaches valuable ways of life, for example, codes of conduct. This is from morally right actions to what is unacceptable in the community. However, it is evident that societies do not provide enough knowledge on the subject of desirable motives and thoughts. Individuals end up thinking that they know plenty about life whereas, they lack considerable knowledge. They invest plenty of time finding valuable information about their individual life from external sources, whereas they should search for inner solutions. This is evident in the first line of the poem, “Rotating bodies, confusion of sound”. The poet begins by showing a significant form of distraction, sound, that individuals use to avoid searching for activities corresponding to acquiring valuable information. This is also evident in, “Pleasure designed to take over your mind…” and “Typical Hollywood follies good girl…” It is apparent that the Hollywood follies and the good girl represent corrupt people who live foolishly through imagination and idealism.

The poet shows that individuals create obstructions on their own with the intention of running away from reality. Individuals admire distant cultural practices and values that do not make sense but corrupt their minds. The poet creates the impression that individuals entertain other people with their bodies in shows. During these expositions, these individuals are subject to exploitation. This is why the poet tags on with the line “Confusion of sound”. This means that people allow corrupt activities to take up their lives rapidly while making them lose the value of life. Alternatively, they create a lame excuse of sound. The poet puts more emphasis on the extent of moral decay in societies in the modern world. This is evident in the last stanzas, “Modern-day wickedness is all you’ve been taught… Lied to your neighbors, so you get ahead…”

The poet uses figurative language, and poetic devices to back up the theme of corruption in the poem. For example, personification is evident in the second line, “Negative imagery, holding us down”. The poet personifies negative imagery to symbolize the extent of individual’s submission to corrupt morals. This entails that people cannot break away from destructive morals when exposed to off-putting pictures. Metaphor is as well evident in the poem, “While classes in government, set up the veil, And cultivate minds for more mythical tales”. The poet directly associates the classes in government with a veil which creates a vivid idea of values that classes in a government attempt to impart fruitlessly.

Conversely, the poet uses sound devices to boost the rhythm of the poem which includes rhyme which is evident in words such as “constructed, corrupted, poor, pure, Knowledge, acknowledge.” Alliteration is as well evident in the first two syllables “st”, of “Strictly strategically studying war.” The poet also applies assonance by the use of syllable “u” of “Lustful this hustle turns humans to hoes”. This echoes the level of human destruction. The poet as well uses repetition in “Check your motives and thoughts“. This is with the intention of putting emphasis on the need to manage corrupt behavior and objectives in life. Finally, the poet puts emphasis on moral decency by the title of the poem “Motives and Thoughts”.

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