Essay on The Forbidden Zone By Mary Borden

1005 Words Nov 14th, 2016 5 Pages
In Mary Borden’s compilation of poems from, The Forbidden Zone, she focuses on the denial of the cruelty and dehumanization effects of the Great War as a coping mechanism. Not only does she provide the perspectives of women, but also the different experiences of the infantry men and the officers. Borden presents two specific types of women throughout her poems. The women who sacrificed their lucidity to become nurses and the women who remained at home with a romanticized idea of war. In her poem, “The Square,” she notes, “Below my window in the high bright square a struggle is going on between the machines of war and the people of the town,” (17). Limousines meant to carry ladies to “places of amusement,” now carry generals to “places of killings,” (17). Already the war has changed fundamental roles in society, yet the town women remain obstinate and refuse to yield to the war. “The business of killing and the business of living go on together… The little women of the town are busy… they do not see the fine scowling generals… nor the provisions of war under their lumpy coverings. They do not even wonder what is in the ambulances,” (18). Borden depicts this image of everyday life, of women bartering, chattering, and caring for their children all the while ambulances cart injured men who around the square. Whether it’s the denial due to the fact that the men in the ambulances could be a brother, father, son, or husband or that the women refuse to acknowledge so much death…

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