In Flanders Field Essay

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John Alexander McCrae is remembered and celebrated as world famous Canadian author, poet, doctor, and soldier. He was born on November 30th, 1872 in Guelph, Ontario. McCrae attended the University of Toronto where he achieved his BA in 1894 and, later, his MD, in 1898. After fighting in the South African war from 1899-1901 and regarding the mass spreading of diseases, he studied, and became a noted pathologist. Following years of pathology focused towards clinical work, teaching, and writing, in 1914, McCrae enlisted in the first world war. His courageous leadership advanced him from Officer, to Major, and eventually to Lieutenant Colonel. In 1915, McCrae relocated to France wherein he medically treated soldiers from battles such as Vimy Ridge…show more content…
Dating back to World War I, in 1915, John McCrae was helping to fight the Second Battle of Ypres when he lost many fellow soldiers, including one student and friend. After mourning the losses of his comrades, McCrae poured his heart out onto some paper, in the midst of his miserable surroundings and created the above poem. In such a heat of passion and of sadness, McCrae used symbolism to more significantly portray his thoughts. The representation of the red poppies is used to symbolize the lost soldiers, for red poppies flourished in the grounds where the Second Battle of Ypres took place. Soldiers ran onto the battlefield, bravely facing and meeting death. Their heart, love, and blood, having been left on the field, grew into the soil and produced the growth of red flowers that inspire and signify comfort for the later generations. In addition, McCrae uses another form of symbolism that further portrays the bravery and spirit of the soldiers. In the lines, “To you from failing hands we throw/ The torch; be yours to hold it high” (11-12), the image of a fiery torch is used to embody the moral service held high and proud by all the soldiers, those resting in peace as well as those stepping up to battle. This poem has created the grand tradition and is the reason for which each Canadian wears a red poppy over their heart every year on November

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