Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner Analysis

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In the poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” the author, Randall Jarrell discusses the darkness and brutality of war, as well as the role of a soldier during wartime. Jarrell uses an extended metaphor, as well as informal diction towards the end of the poem, to convey his meaning that war is wasteful to some lives and during wartime soldiers are viewed as expendable or disposable. Jarrell contrasts between the darkness and light of the life of a soldier with a metaphor in the first two lines. Jarrell says, “From my mother’s sleep..”, which is viewed as the birth of the gunner, in a normal life, not during wartime, but Jarrell compares the mother to the bomber jet that the gunner sits in, saying he falls into “the State”, which could be…show more content…
The author then says, “I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze”, which without meaning is viewed as birth as well, the gunner is sitting in the mother’s womb, but Jarrell compares the belly to the ball turret, he is sitting or “hunched” in the turret until his “wet fur froze”, which shows the gunner is so nervous that he is sweating in through his fur bomber jacket. The fact that the gunner is nervous shows he is scared for his life, knowing it could end at any point in time due to the darkness of war. Jarrell portrays the mother and the birth to be the light of life, as birth is a beautiful thing, and portrays the bomber and the turret to be the darkness of life, as these things cause death. The metaphor in place shows that the soldier feels as if he is wronged, he was thrown into war where he can lose his life, but at the same time there are millions of
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