Essay: Impressions of War the Most Vivid Imagine

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Impressions of War

The most vivid imagine of war was the beginning of it all. September 11, 2001 changed the United States. It was vividly relived over and over again in the media and in the newspaper. There was this sense that the nation's spirit had been broken and there was no room to live innocently. There were plenty of young individuals, both male and female, that either got summoned or volunteered to go and fight this war on terrorism. It began in the United States with the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington DC. Although we did not really know it at the time, this was the first image of war and it was the beginning of this whole war on terrorism. The declaration of war by President Bush on television will forever live in my mind. It was the day that individuals that I personally knew would forever have their lives changed by joining the military.

These individuals who chose to go to war felt anger for our nation having been attacked, but they felt pride in going to either Iraq or Afghanistan to fight for their country. Despite the horror that we all knew awaited them, there was this sense of heroism and bravery that could not be denied. This sense that they were able to truly express themselves became the positive side to this war. However, ten years later, this war is not completely over. There are still military personnel getting deployed for their fourth or fifth tour, making it not only difficult on them, but on their families as well. The reputation of the war on both Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a turn for the worse. Very few true supporters of the war exist, as we are bombarded day by day with horrific images on the Internet or even on television.

When closing my eyes and thinking about the word "War," I think of the effect on hundreds of thousands of lives that one simple war can have. So many people have died, so many lives have been forever changed, and so many things have been done that cannot be taken back, that makes me question the true significance of war. Although there is a sense of freedom that war can bring to its nation, it is at a high cost to those individuals who go out there and protect our country so that the rest of us do not have to.

2) World War I

a)

Eliot's reference to "The Shadow" is made many times throughout Section V of the poem. In lines 72 -- 76, "Between the idea / and the reality / Between the motion / and the act / Falls the Shadow" he is stating they have ideas that are unable to become reality. They are halted because of this shadow. They think of what to do "the motion," but cannot actually go through with it, "the act." The lines 78 -- 83 further build on this idea that the shadow is preventing them from actually getting anything through, "Between the conception / and the creation / Between the emotion / and the response / Falls the Shadow." Something is beginning ("conception"), but does not actually form ("creation"). This idea of allowing thought ("response") to become materialized ("response") is prevented by the shadow. These different analysis of the various parts of Section V makes one think that the shadow that Eliot constantly refers to is uncertainty. It is uncertainty that is not allowing for any of these things to completely be followed through with. Lines 84 -- 91 also support this observation of what the shadow is referring to, "Between the desire / and the spasm / Between the potency / and the existence / Between the essence / and the descent / Falls the Shadow." All these occurrences are being halted by uncertainty; they are being halted by the shadow.

b)

The hollow men are described as being men who are very dry, boring, and straightforward. It is as if nothing they do has meaning and they go through life too afraid to actually get anything done. Socially they are reserved, conservative, and scared of moving out of their comfort zone. Religiously, they depend too much on their depiction of life between hell and heaven and do not really know how to break out of this cycle of being in between both worlds. Personally, as the title states, they are hollow men. They have nothing of substance to contribute to society. They are too timid to be able to do anything. They have values that do not truly go anywhere because their personality prevents them from doing so. They value life and freedom, but do not move forward in attaining either concept. These hollow men are very much like plenty of individuals. They complain about their current situation, have high aspirations, but lack the motivation or initiative to actually get anything done. Their personality prevents them from doing so, but their inability to move forward fully stops them in their tracks.

Eliot does manage to effectively demonstrate his argument that contemporary history is an "immense panorama of futility and anarchy" in this poem. The dry setting that Eliot start off with gives a great start to the point that he is trying to make, however it is the characters themselves, the hollow men, that eventually prove his point of futility. These men are essentially useless, "Headpiece filled with straw." They do not contribute anything to society, nor do they even want to. They think about everything so much that nothing actually gets done, "Paralyzed force, gesture without motion." This in fact is what the entire poem points out. They have the ideas in mind, but the lack the initiative to go through with everything. They are timid, shy, and lack confidence. This only adds on to the concept of futility.

They dream of a kingdom, one that refers to death. Eliot makes this connection to tie together the idea of anarchy with one of a negative kind. Even their thoughts of a more royal life, one where anarchy does seem futile however, is evaded by their personalities. They avoid death because they are too afraid to get anything done, even if that task is simply to die. The lines, "Eyes I dare not meet in dreams / in death's dream kingdom / These do not appear." The hollow men do not dare look at this kingdom in the eyes for fear of seeming inferior. Their personalities of having big ideas but no motivation to get them done contributes to the notion of Eliot's thought that this poem portrays an immense panorama of futility and anarchy.

c)

Both poems "Dulce et Decorum Est" and "The Rear Guard" depict the horrors of war. They do not try to hide the fact that war is dangerous and that it in fact does bring death and suffering to all those who become involved. In "Dulce et Decorum Est," the narrator states how vividly he remembers the death that war brings. This vivid depiction brings the reader right into the poem and always them for a second to personally understand the horrors behind fighting, "...watch the white eyes writhing in his face, / His hanging face...the blood / Come gargling from the froth corrupted lungs." This line alone brings such a real picture to mind that when one thinks of war, this is what will stick out the most in this poem. The horror is strongly felt. In "The Rear Guard" this same mechanism of reality is also seen, "...Terribly glaring up, whose eyes yet wore / Agony dying hard ten days before / and fists of fingers clutched a blackening wound." This connection to "the eyes" tie both bring a more human aspect to war. It does not glorify soldiers, but actually brings reality to what they truly go through during war.

Although both poems do share many concepts in common, they portray their horrific views of war in different ways. "Dulce et Decorum Est" is a lot more graphic than "The Rear Guard." This poem was definitely the most effective in getting the point across that it war is something deadly and horrific. It does not in any way attempt to bring any sort of glory to being a soldier. It is effective in portraying the horrors by depicting a scene that can only be thought of as coming straight from a movie. From the beginning of the poem, "Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots / but limped on, blood-shod" this idea that being a soldier was something that they were already tired of and that they no longer thought they could handle was made clear. This scene can almost be predicted. From the author's description of the tired men, the reader can already assess that the poem would end tragically.

On the other hand, "The Rear Guard" can be taken… [END OF PREVIEW]

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