Theme Of Death In Irish Airman

1283 Words 6 Pages
This essay will analyze the similarities and differences between the meaning of death in three texts, namely Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” by Jarrell, and “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” by Yeats, all three texts examine the concepts of life and death. All three texts view death as inevitable; however “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” is more aligned with the ideas expressed in Slaughterhouse 5, that time isn’t a set path, but a picture where one can choose specific moments in time to focus on. The poem “An Irish Airman Foresees his Death” is different from the other two as it focuses on the eventuality of death; whereas Slaughterhouse 5 and “The Death of The Ball Turret Gunner provides …show more content…
This idea is also prevalent in the poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” as they both focus on the relationship between life, death and time, unlike the poem by Yeats which does not dwell on time or life. “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” is more similar to Slaughterhouse 5 then “An Irish Airman foresees his death” due to the increased similarities in the perception of time in relation to life and death, as well as its description of the inevitability of death.
The poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" contains a similar relationship with life, death, and time. This is seen throughout the poem such as in the following which emphasizes the inevitability of death, “Washed me out of the turret with a hose” (Jarrell Line 5). The idea expressed here is that one cannot do anything to prevent their death, but sit and watch. Similarly, the idea of solely sitting and watching is similar to the idea expressed by the Tralfamadorians in Slaughterhouse 5 “‘We know how the universe ends'- said the guide,...; ‘If you know this,’
…show more content…
The Tralfamadorians could have prevented the death of the entire universe; however, they chose not to. The perception of death by the Tralfamadorians and the Ball Turret Gunner is greatly different, in that, the ball turret gunner solely sees death as the end, whereas the Tralfamadorians see death as a moment in the long life of a person. The Tralfamadorians view of death is that at another moment in time, the deceased are living happily in another moment of time. The notion that time can be experienced repeatedly is an idea that humans, in general, are not capable of understanding. This idea is played upon by Vonnegut, who created a plot where humans can become ‘unstuck’ and truly experience the mobility that comes with being able to experience moments over and over again. This idea of reliving moments is also in focus by Jarrel in the poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”. For instance, the phrase, “I woke to the Black flak and the nightmare fighters” (Jarrell Line 4) illustrates a change of time when compared to the previous few lines of the poem, as if the ball gunner is choosing moments in his life. The significance of

Related Documents