This very short poem describes a man that is in one moment asleep in his mother’s womb (“from my mother’s sleep I fell into the state”) and the next moment is fighting for his life in the belly of a B-17 or B-24 aircraft only to die suddenly (“Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life”). The fear that is expressed in this poem is the fear of unjust acts becoming justified in war. One should not wash another man’s blood from an aircraft and not feel remorse of pity, but these are the harsh realities of war. The dehumanizing actions of the soldier’s are justified in the case of
Both Ted Hughes and Wilfred Owen present war in their poems “Bayonet Charge” and “Exposure”, respectively, as terrifying experiences, repeatedly mentioning the honest pointlessness of the entire ordeal to enhance the futility of the soldiers' deaths. Hughes’ “Bayonet Charge” focuses on one person's emotional struggle with their actions, displaying the disorientating and dehumanising qualities of war. Owen’s “Exposure”, on the other hand, depicts the impacts of war on the protagonists' nation, displaying the monotonous and unending futility of the situation by depicting the fate of soldiers who perished from hypothermia, exposed to the horrific conditions of open trench warfare before dawn.
“Ten Kliks South” by Phil Klay and Tina M. Beller’s e-mail found in The New Yorker both contain universal themes that clearly represent the lives and emotions of soldiers who are stationed overseas. For one, “Ten Kliks South” is a personal account of a narrator’s first experiences of death under the circumstances of war. Likewise, Beller’s e-mail is also a first-person report on a traumatic rocket bombing in Baghdad. Both of these pieces illustrate a common portrait, of which there are American soldiers in a foreign and unknown land, a day of violence, and the progression of that such violence into intensive contemplation on the soldier’s respective situations. From both writers, the reader comprehends the daily emotions of war through the use of the first person technique and dialogue. The narrator from “Ten Kliks South” and Tina Beller both prove that: 1) the presence of death can drive soldiers into emotional whirlwinds, and 2) camaraderie is a vital part in recovering from emotional pain.
In essence, these two poems are drastically different works of art. "Dulce et Decorum est" is a more graphical and relational work compared to the latter, as you go on a journey as a soldier who gets to experience traumatic and graphic events, it begins to alter what you think about war and conflict. As you read on, it gives you graphical wording to prove that the saying "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" is a misrepresentation of actual war. After reading, the underlying message becomes apparent, it wants you to alter your current perceptions about war and how pointless they really are. In contrast, "The Things that Make a Soldier Great" aims to clear up what soldiers really go to war for, they are not there for "The pomp and pride of kings" but only when you "Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run—You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.", soldiers fight to protect their homes, not their kings. The poem aims to glorify soldiers and certain aspects of war, it goes on to prove that in reality there really isn 't good vs bad on the battlefield, it 's just a man who "sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call, And only death can stop him now—he 's fighting for them all.", and this is our hidden meaning.
In the works of Literature an epiphany is “a moment of profound insight or revelation by which a character’s life is greatly altered” (24). In the short story “Cathedral” Raymond Carver uses epiphany to draw on the theme, blinded views can alter someone’s behavior. On the realistic level, epiphany advances the plot and character development because they are the basis for the story’s central action. They also help define the narrator and play a vital part in revealing the story’s theme. The following changes in the character’s views have shown an evident development.
The second stanza introduces the reader to the memories that the young men must suffer time and time, every day. Through the use of personification in “memory fingers in their hair of murders”, Owen communicates on a personal level to the reader, painting the visual image of an old man anxiously pushing his fingers through his hair. The soldiers are being tormented by their memories of the death they had witnessed and are resulting in pulling their own hair out to distract their minds from their memories. They cannot be still. They cannot be calm. It is as though their brains had been turned to mush. Owen then uses the descriptive language of “Treading blood from lungs that once loved laughter” to stir an emotional response from the reader.
The poem “Death of a Toad” has many elements that reveal the speaker’s response to the toad.
Using distinctively visual, sensory language and dramatic devices in texts allows the reader and audience to view as well as participate and relate to different emotions. In the fictional play “Shoe Horn Sonata” written by John Misto, 1995, Misto sets the scene by using dramatic devices to address the extremely confronting circumstances that the protagonists, Sheila and Bridie experience. Similarly, in the poem “Beach Burial” by Kenneth Slessor, 1944, Slessor too uses extremely strong visual language on the subject of war to overcome the gruesome realities of the subject matter.
In "If I die in a Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home", Tim O’Brien gives the readers a unique insight into the Vietnam War from a soldier’s perspective. He uses dark humor to describe his firsthand experience of combat and the feelings of fear, bravery, and loss. Drafted into the war, O’Brien begins his journey in a training camp in Washington, making a close comrade who shares similar views with him. During his time at the camp, he considers the senselessness of the war and thinks of fleeing the country with his comrade, Erik. O’Brien was surrounded by the era of protest and arguments on the war. Faced with the moral decision of fight or flight, he opts for the former and chooses to stay and fight for his country. Shipped off to the battlefront in Vietnam, his life in combat is drowned in constant fear and anxiety. In fear of death, O’Brien and his fellow soldiers practice courage and bravery every day. They do this while watching American soldiers die in combat from bombs and landmines. Fighting for the Alpha Company, O’Brien witnesses violence and inhumanities of war. He lives in a revolving door of valor and danger as young men fought and died for the country on both sides. Even after O’Brien leaves the frontlines to
War carries important morals that heighten the perspective of men and women on their nation, but it also entails many acts and experiences that leave lasting effects on their emotional and physical state. Throughout the following texts, Paul Baumer, the dead soldiers, and Kiowa’s comrades all sustain losses that compel them to persevere and fight harder. All Quiet on the Western Front, Poetry of the Lost Generation, and an excerpt from In the Field all connect to the recurring theme, horrors of war, that soldiers face everyday on the front line through the continuous battle.
Much like Wrights poem, Slessor creates the message that in a time of need, such as WWII, Australians will give up their land and lives to fight for the greater good. Beach Burial emits a sombre and sad tone, rather than boasting heroism like many other war poems produced at the time. Slessor uses realistic and blunt wording to challenge the reader to create a sense of pity for those who lost their lives at the battle of El Alamein. He refers to the soldier’s nakedness in the second stanza where he writes, “to pluck them from the shallows and bury them in burrows and tread sand upon their nakedness.” This use of nakedness is not meant to be literal but rather a metaphor for human vulnerability and dignity. I find this to be the most powerful image throughout the poem and the message being conveyed is one that helps to create an image for the reader of the harsh realities of the war and how precious life is. Slessor also references to the meaning of a name in his poem. His meaning however differs from Wrights as it portrays that who you are and what your name is, is not relevant once we reach the end of the cycle of life. With regards to the war, it helps to state that “whether as enemies they fought, or fought with us, or neither; the sand joins them together”. The message I draw from this is that no matter which country one is fighting for, we are all united by the common enemy of death and that we are nameless in our sacrifices. This selfless act to join war efforts relates to the careless act of the destruction of the environment and the waste of
“The Seafarer” by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon scop, focuses on the themes of personal conflict and the desire to be on a journey. Have you ever experienced love and hate at the exact same time? This Anglo-Saxon elegy reveals the pain of isolation, desire, love, and confusion the sea causes the speaker to feel when he faces fate. The Seafarer has developed a love-hate relationship for his passion. The Seafarer’s emotions are constantly shifting as he views his life in separate perspectives. Though he feels the pain of isolation, the love-hate emotions of being at sea, and fears his fate; he focuses on God and his plan for him.
The ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ is a poem written by Wilfred Owen on September 1917. Wilfred Owen was born on 18th March 1893, in Oswestry, United Kingdom, and his poems are famous through the use of descriptive words to portray the pity of the war, which is a common theme throughout all of his poems. Owen wrote most of his poems between August 1917 to September 1918 before he was killed on 4th November at Sambre-Oise canal in France. ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ is a poem about a soldier dying in foreign country, and no one is praying for them; at the same time, the family in home country just can pray and do nothing other than that. Owen describes the theme of this poem agony of forgotten soldiers by using several literary devices such as imagery,
This is different to the other poems already mentioned in this essay as it refers to the innocent citizens killed as opposed to the soldiers or upper class ranking officials at the time. A theme throughout the poem is that the first line of each verse contains the person who survives and the second line contains the person of is dead or about to die.
The poem features a soldier, presumably Owen, speaking to fellow soldiers and the public regarding those atrocities. Correspondingly, drawing on the themes of innocent death and the barbaric practices of warfare, Owen expresses his remorse towards his fallen comrades and an antagonistic attitude towards the war effort through a solemn tone and specific stylistic devices. The poem is structured as free verse, contributing towards the disorganized and chaotic impression Owen experienced while witnessing these deaths firsthand, enabling the audience to understand the emotional circumstances of demise in the trenches as well. Throughout the poem, Owen routinely personifies the destructive weapons of war, characterizing them as the true instruments of death rather than the soldiers who stand behind them. Owen describes how, “Bullets chirped…Machine-guns chuckled…Gas hissed…” (Owen 3,4,15). Personifying the weapons demonstrates how pure soldiers have their innocence stolen from them through forced and blind usage of such deadly instruments. Accordingly, it is the weapons who truly receive the last laugh in the war as they kill both physically and spiritually, while soldiers are forever wounded in ways that can and cannot be seen.