What Is The Extended Metaphor In The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner

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In the poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner,” Randall Jarrell develops the extended metaphor of a killed soldier in a turret gun to describe the tragedy from a miscarriage. Randall Jarrell introduce the poem’s mood, melancholy, based on the title which indicate war with the words “death” and “Turret Gunner”. This immediately send white and black images of balled up men waiting for their inevitable death. The men that can’t do anything but wait and hope like a baby in a womb. The extended metaphor is formally introduced with “From my mother's sleep I fell into the State … fur froze.”(1-2). The “sleep” suggest a babies in a womb dreaming and others hoping that the baby lives past this “state” of being just like soldiers wrapped up in a gunner turret. The alliterated …show more content…

Images of family, love, and life comes from the value of mothers. This is what babies need in order to live. However the transition to the other state, “ wet fur froze,” gives a image of uncomfortableness, coldness and a sense of loneliness contrasting with the image of mother. The soldier, covered in the rain, watch the death below is similar to a baby’s death surrounded in amniotic fluid when it dies in the womb. The contrasting images is to push the mother’s tragedy as her meaning of life is gone. The turret gunners is what gives airplane fighter meaning and without it loses the whole plane’s meaning. Continuing the dream state image,”...loosed from its dream of life,I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.”(3-4) The death of a baby is signaled with “flak” and “nightmares”. The flak shooting planes out of the sky renders a image of hostile landscape. Coupled with “nightmare,” the landscape turns into a state of fear and death. Babies in the womb are subject to hostile condition similar to conditions of the soldier. From temperature, pressure, and resources, the baby fights for its survival. This is the nightmare that the mother has to

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