“Touchscreen” by Marshall Davis Jones Analysis

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Summary of The Poem

The poem, “Touchscreen” by Marshall Davis Jones is an absorbing poetic piece. It explains the dilemma of the modern world that has become technological, forgetting the priceless human and cultural values. The writer begins this piece by addressing smartphone users and expressing his amazement at its striking features. He explicitly admits that his world is so digital, where everything is just a click away. He explains some fast and easy ways of making friends and getting in touch with them.

While highlighting the excessive use of Facebook he says that his status on Facebook makes the world feel that he is alive. In contrast, his disappearance from social platforms would mean that he does not exist anymore. Ironically, the speaker has an impressive number of friends online, but his circle is limited to five in reality. He loves to spend more time in this advanced world where he finds more people like him sharing an exaggerated profile. Moreover, there are many solutions provided on the internet for his problems. He alludes to the days when one needs to sit on swings to see the treetops. This revolution has replaced those swings with desktops, where one can discover even the Gardens of Eden without putting any effort. 

Unfortunately, nature walks and fruit picking seasons have become old tales. Now, we go to stores to pick blackberries, iPhones, iPods, and iMac. To him, the omission of nature and its soothing comfort from our life is scary. Instead of listening to what nature says, we are busy attending to worldly tunes. It’s ironic the power we feel in this world is making us powerless. Our absorption in e-commerce and digital marketing is taking us away from the purpose of our lives. It seems that modern man is drugged with the illusion of modernization. The writer feels depressed about the complete transformation of the world; from child to adult, everyone is addicted to touching screens. Amid this technological rush, he hopes to become human again.

Major Themes in Poem

Some of the major themes in “Touchscreen” are existential identity, advancement, and loss of human values. This poem is about inner conflict, demonstrating how technology occupies almost every part of our lives. The description shows how ruling our minds limit our humanistic approach to the world. The writer wonders how social networking influenced and made us artificial and technological rather than human. The writer feels this digital world has turned humans into zombies. They have become robots that possess no power of their own. We spend most of the time on social platforms that have affected our real individual self. 

In fact, this digital world has put us into a bubble, cutting our connection from the real world. The speaker laments for being part of this drastic revolution. He wants to go back when there was no technology and people had high moral values. Instead of using technology as a problem-solving tool, people have opted it as a fundamental element of their lives. As a result, they have lost their human, moral and cultural values. The ending line of the poem makes people think that it is possible for technology to become human and connect us to the world we have lost in this rush.

For short analysis watch the video below.

Poetic Elements in “Touchscreen” by Marshall Davis Jones

To intensify the mood and feeling of his poem, Marshall has used various poetic elements in the poem, such as; onomatopoeia, metaphor, pun, irony, and imagery. The use of imagery throughout the text connects readers with the writer’s thoughts. It enables them to understand what writer wants to convey. Images like “doesn’t it feel good to touch?” and “I’m holding my daughter over a Skype conference call” appeal to our senses. 

Marshall has used the extended metaphor of the digital world and laments the loss of precious moral values. Throughout the text, he recalls that time when people were less artificial and more human. Similarly, the use of irony in the poem shows the stupidity of mankind. To him, man is ruining his peace and identity while putting the purpose of his life aside. Moreover, the repetition of sound “click” creates musical quality in the poem. Also, the display of puns in the middle of the poem makes people think about their choices. Some of the examples of pun are “apple picking has always come to a great cost” and “Now we run to the Sprint Store to pick Blackberries.”

Let’s Sum Up!

Thus, the article, “Touchscreen” by Marshall Davis Jones Analysis brilliantly sheds light on the current dismal situation of the modern world.

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