Look Down Fair Moon Analysis

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The Cycle of Justification: When Imitation Fails When contemporaries write on their wars, it’s not uncommon that there be a widespread attempt to spin it positively. During the Civil War, they attempted to turn the masses of dead soldiers into Christ. In Look Down Fair Moon and They dropped like flakes, Whitman and Dickinson, to make clear the failure of the war, depict the dead soldiers as failed imitations of Christ, victims of the unyielding cycle of time and not sacrifices for humanity’s betterment. Classically, the moon is a strictly feminine figure – the antithesis to the sun and its hot, masculine nature. There is also a strong connection with cycles, the natural world, and, specifically, water. The moon’s presence within Fair Moon is no different from this classical depiction, irrevocably tied to water and related feminine tasks. This connection with water, indicating to the reader that this poem’s moon is also possessive of the other classical characteristics, is not difficult to find. The moon is “baht[ing]”, “pour[ing]”, and possesses “floods”…show more content…
In this work, the bodies are never identified as anything beyond bodies – they’re never identified as soldiers. The fact they’re intended to be taken as such can only be assumed because of the poem’s inclusion among other poems discussing the war and its soldiers in Whitman’s Drum Taps. That connection is the only reason the poem is definitively a war poem. Within the poem, there is nothing to indicate that the bodies were ever soldiers, let alone ever acted honorably or with particular renown. Instead, they’re only “the dead” (Whitman). Any actions that lead them to “this scene” are no longer necessary, meaning there is nothing to diminish the negative connotations of bathing (Whitman). There is nothing to justify them being in this scenario. Nothing to give them enough credit to maintain power over themselves. They are just lesser things, children, that require
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