The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner By Randall Jarrell Essay

1241 Words Sep 30th, 2016 5 Pages
There are three elements employed by Randall Jarrell in his poem, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner,” which illustrate the cycle of life and death of the gunner. The utilization of rhythm, use of imagery, and sequencing of events profoundly impact the development of the theme which conveys sending young people to fight a war is essentially ending life before it begins. Understanding these elements allows readers to grasp the troublesome concept of death through warfare in just five short lines.
Jarrell writes the poem without a fixed structure of rhythm or rhyme. Composing strict metrical patterns or rhyme schemes would not accurately imitate the unpredictability and disorder of battle. Instead, the chaotic structure of the poem depicts the frenzied nature of warfare, evidenced by the lack of a linear feature to the poem. Nevertheless, this poem does contain meaningful cadences. The author utilizes the metrical elements of partial and full rhyme, as well as assonance, in order to add a deeper meaning to the imagery within and create a natural cadence which draws readers in as in the case of “black/flak, hose/froze, and nightmare/fighters” (2-5). These elements emphasize the distinct aspects of the gunner’s life and how they measure in context of the war from his birth to his death. Line two, for example, showcases the importance of this rhythm in dealing with the development from his birth to the brink of death. The line reads, “And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur…

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