Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner Theme

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Literature can be funny, happy, lovely, and dynamic in all its forms, but literature that strikes a chord and evokes deep gut-wrenching feelings is often that of realistic fiction that contains tragic events in which the characters are involved. War is just one of the events that seems to captivate audiences. Literature like the story “The Things They Carried” and the poem “Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” paint the truth of events that happen during war. Death appears in both of these works and is the tragic event that changes the theme of the pieces. But what if the theme begins with death and then discussed its effect on the tone of the characters? This very thing happens in “When I have fears that I may cease to be.” This causes the same…show more content…
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…show more content…
In “The Things They Carried” the audience pity Jimmy Cross because he is at war and because he is in love with Martha, but knows that she does not feel the same. Readers also pity him because he is the leader and he realizes that he has to stop his dreaming. In the line “It was very sad, he thought. The things men carried inside. The things men did or felt they had to do,” Cross knows that he has to change his character if he is going to survive the war. Readers pity the author John Keats because he knows he is going to die, and because he doesn’t have time to complete his life’s work. What makes Keats’ poem so gloomy is that he understands death and how his disease will run its course, but he wants to do so much more, like in the lines “and think that I may never live to trace their shadows, with the magic hand of chance.” “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” evokes pity because it tells the real story of how catastrophic war can be on the human psyche, because war makes you realize how near death could

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