Themes In 'Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner'

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Following World War I, the most popular literary genre across the world was post-war (Steere). Many authors of this time focused on the sadness, horror, or other emotions that came with war, though some left ambiguity as to exactly how they felt. Four of the authors during this time, having different locations in various wars, were Anna Akhmatova, Randall Jarrell, Marco Vesovic, and W. B. Yeats. Akhmatova, a Russian, and Yeats, an Irishman, each encountered the turmoil caused by World War 1. However, Jarrell writes from an American standpoint about World War 2 and Vesovic, born in Montenegro, speaks about the Serb siege of Sarajevo (Steere). The themes of four poems written by these authors are all the same: war. Yet, the tones and literary …show more content…
Rather than openly express his feelings, the author uses imagery and aerial technology knowledge to define the impact he saw of the war, such as “I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters. / When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose” (4-5). The imagery Jarrell used here allows for the reader to imagine the shallowness of war through the fact that the gunner was shown as just a weapon that was destroyed and then “washed out”. Similarly, Yeats describes his relationships with those in war as “Those that I fight I do not hate / Those that I guard I do not love“ (3-4). Through the ambiguity and seemingly emotionless writings of “Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” and “An Irishman Foresees His Death”, the reader is allowed to feel their own emotions, brought on by the facts seen in the poems. Another similarity of these two poems is the fact that they each resemble elegies as they are written in first person (as seen in the quotes before) and seem to be recounting the actual death of themselves. Because of this, even though they seem emotionless, they bring out much emotion in the reader and even sum hatred toward war in

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