Wars, Cruel and Dramatic Experiences, Became Ineffaceable Essay

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¶ … Wars, cruel and dramatic experiences, became ineffaceable earmarks in our collective memory. The tragedy, the unimagined statistics of victims, the eyesore of the war and the darkened cloak of death are attributes of those periods of warfare which have terrified the entire world and the generations about to come with the dimensions of the conflict. It is difficult for us, who have been blessed not to be contemporaries with such events, to imagine a whole world living under terror. The Wars expanded from a continent to another, leaving no uncovered way: the air, the water and the ground seemed to be doomed, the conflict seemed to continue endlessly and the feeling of fear to never go away.

Within this frame of despair and horror, we stand for a simple quotation that best describes the long night of war that fell upon civilization: "War is Hell," memorably said General Sherman, without having knowledge of tanks, gas or aerial bombardment at the respective time. (Clarke xxv).

There is a simple, but great line which remains for me the perfect reference towards wars: "Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn"- Robert Burns (Manwaring 1). It is sad to realize that the sacrifice of an entire generation was decided by men and dominated by the need of power, the greed of arming and the absolute wish to divide the global map in a state's own benefit, an issue that for today's history does not even counts anymore, if we consider the modern trend of globalization.

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What have the two Great Wars left behind? Glory for the heroes, respect for their acts and maybe a profound and valuable lesson: it is our duty to try to avoid, as far as possible, further global tragedies like these.

And which would be the best way to glorify and also, to make successors aware of qualities like bravery, patriotism and the power of self-sacrifice if not making them sensitive through valuable art.

TOPIC: Essay on Wars, Cruel and Dramatic Experiences, Became Ineffaceable Assignment

One knows man to have always expressed his moods through music, poetry and prose, drama, paints or whatever other form of expression he considered that it would best describe his thoughts and feelings and would remain a proof of what he had, at a certain point, felt or had been witness to. And the experience of warfare, although dramatic and traumatic, does not make an exception- in the area of writing, thousands of pieces poems and pieces of prose stand as a proof that wars had such a powerful impact on humanity that it developed a specific type of literature- the war literature.

In the current paper I am going to focus on and analyze several poems of this kind which I believe to be extremely representative for the segment of war poetry. Through the linguistic register they use, the realistic image they build, with the reader having the feeling that the narrated scenes are happening in front of him and the value of the writers, the following poems transmit to their audience an extremely profound frame of mind. I am referring to: "The Fury of Aerial Bombardment," by Richard Eberhart, "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner," by Randall Jarrell, "Anthem for Doomed Youth" and "Dulce et Decorum Est," both written by Wilfred Owen.

First of all, what these poems have in common is their major theme- the war and the fact that they were written under similar circumstances, even if their authors refer either to the First World War, either to the Second one.

In order to gain a better understanding of what was the exact issue the respective writer focused on, it is essential for one to make an in-depth analyze of his writing. One should focus on aspects as: the word register the author used, his metaphors, correlations, antitheses and references.

Let us take one poem at a time. For example, in Eberhart's "Fury of Aerial Bombardment," the author calls for abstract nouns, adjectives and verbs, such as "to rouse," "to relent," "to repent," "infinite spaces," "multitudinous will," "eternal truth," "fighting souls," "avidity" and so on. One does not meet concrete words or direct specifications which would indicate weapons or actions of warfare. In fact, words for weapons do not appear at all, or maybe they do if we think of them in the abstract way, namely if we consider human's power of evil and destruction as the supreme weapon which sets motion for the physical actions related to war and guns of any kind. This would come as a confirmation for the above mentioned quotation, which sets human's inhumanity towards peers as the brain of all actions of warfare, genocide or other dramatic events occurred on a large scale.

In terms of actions of warfare, the title of the poem- the aerial bombardment, appears exclusively in the first line, but with no further mention directed specifically to this type of attack. If one makes an analogy between the title of the poem and the description that follows it, he could assume that the message of the poem is built starting from the precise image of an action of bombardment, yet I believe the lyrics are designed to describe war in all its aspects and ways of carrying on, not only when referred to a specific action. The war had come and his repercussions are unparalleled. A very strong impact is gained from the reference made towards Divinity and Bible characters as Cain, the ancestral model of evil and cruelty.

In the end of the poem, Eberhart recalls the unnecessary death of individuals, as a mark of the tragedy and horror which are direct effects of the war.

"The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner," by Randall Jarrell, is as short as it is expressive. It consists only in five lines, but it provides a very strong image of death, which most probably results from the author's use of verbs in first person, singular form. This leads to an approach towards the reader and to a very personal understanding of the events. Basically, the author transposes himself in the place of a victim who finds her early and tragic end in time of wars. The action of being washed out with a hose has a very profound meaning, as it suggests the non-singularity of the case. A dead man may be a tragedy, but a dead man in the circumstances of warfare is just another number added to the final sum of victims, another quantified and depersonalized element for statistics. I believe this is an excellent metaphor for outlining war's worst effect: the tragic amount of lives taken away.

Similarly to Eberhart, Randall Jarrell uses word elements that suggest how everyone is liable to be the victim of the war, through phrases as "names on a list," "faces I do not recall," "early death" and, respectively, "loosed from dream of life" and the metaphor of being washed out with a hose.

Another similarity between the two poems, beyond outlining tragedy and horror, as all war poems do this, is the fact that both authors lack in using concrete words for weapons and warfare and yet manage to perfectly picture this specific atmosphere. In both cases, specific words from the lexical field of war appear exclusively in the title.

Furthermore, one moves his analysis to English literature, with his exponent, Wilfred Owen, who is considered to be the greatest English poet of the First World War. Being directly implied in the eyesores of war, it seems that a significant part of his creation subsequent to the Great War was inspired from his personal interactions with the battlefield. "I have suffered seventh hell" or "carnage incomparable" (Powell 1) are lines extracted from his letters sent home while he was in front-line the Beaumont Hamel area.

Owen's "Anthem for doomed youth" is a praise directed towards youth, whose innocence could not be saved from the fury of weapons. One strongly feels their present through the use of the phrase "monstrous anger of guns," designed to indicate their superiority against life.

The general idea of the poetry is dominated by pain and mourn suggested through words and expressions like "candles," "prayers," "bells," "glimmers of goodbyes" and so on. The action of warfare is not directly indicated, but it rises from narrating its result. In order to point out tragedy and drama, Owen creates an atmosphere of complete mourning, in a way which is similar to Jarrell. They both present death in its most horrifying nature and they both suggest how this affected a huge number of individuals (Owen uses the word "cattle" which expresses the common of the event and the fact that it happens with such a frequency that the world almost becomes immune) and also, a sort of lottery of life and death which decides who lives and who does not.

As observed in the other analyzed poems, one does not detail warfare by using direct means.

The other poem written by Owen and the one who ends the present analysis… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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