Slough Summary

Slough Summary

An unnamed narrator cries out with an appeal for bombs to drop upon the city of Slough. Such bombs would be friendly visitors and not malevolent agents of destruction because the place is no longer fit for human habitation. Why, there isn’t a single blade of grass left in the place.

Then follows another appeal for devastation from the sky to fall upon Slough’s contribution to the post-World War I industrialization of smaller cities characterized as tinned canteens filled with tinned food and closed minds.

The narrator refers to Slough as a mess of a town that the bombs have permission to further mess up. He also refers to the town as a house for the Prime Minister. Referring to the owners of the factories who grow rich off the devastation of the weapons they make, he specifically targets men with double chins whose underhanded double-dealing always allows them to come out on top. The bombs, the narrator hopes, will transform what comes out of his mouth from an endless supply of dirty jokes to a loud cry of pain.

An appeal seems to be made, however, for the wrath of the bombs to somehow spare the clerks whose job it is to add up all the profits enjoyed by the fat, cheating lovers of dirty jokes because though they may be mad as a result of becoming part of the hellishness that has industrialized and urbanized Slough, the madness is no fault of their own.

It is not their fault that they have become so ignorant they can no longer distinguish between the sound of nature and the unnatural sounds heard on the radio. It’s not their fault they can no longer enjoy the awesome spectacle of the outdoors because they spend all their time indoors drinking and talking mindlessly about cars and sports and when they do venture outside they are too busy dropping their heads to belch to take time to look around.

Meanwhile, back at home the wives of these clerks also never venture into nature because they are so busy using industrialized products to frizz the hair that they used chemicals to bleach while they dry their hair using synthesized air and spent that time putting more unnatural products on their nails to change the color.

One last appeal for the bombs to fall suggests that after they do, the town can be effective ploughed under and become useful again. The final lines suggest the possibility that the appeal was as the narrator observes that the cabbages are starting to come in and the earth has breathed a sigh of relief.

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