The Man He Killed, And Dulce Et Decorum Est By Thomas Hardy

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The poems “The Man He Killed” by Thomas Hardy, “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen and “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” by Randall Jarrell all have an anti-war theme. They all have different settings of where the war takes place. Hardy’s poem takes place during the Boer War where many of the women and children died in camps. Owen’s poem takes place during World War I on the battle field and Jarrell’s poem takes place in a B-17 bomber during World War II. All of these authors have similar poems because they were all traumatized by a war and they are all portraying the effects of war as cruel and this contributes to the anti-war theme because once you go to war you never come back the same person you once were. Hardy’s poem “The Man …show more content…
The negative aspects of the soldiers are described as “old beggars” and “hags” (Owen 1-2). This means that they are in a horrible state physically and mentally. Owen tells that many of the soldiers have lost their shoes in the “sludge” (2) but yet they still “limped on” (6). Even though they had blood that had crusted on their feet and so exhausted they can hardly stand, they still went on because of the dream of survival they set in their mind. Owen wants to state all of the negative aspects of the war because at the end of the day there is no good that is put into war. Men killing men is not what this world should have because they have to go through so many horrible tragedies and the tragedies haunt the men throughout time. This brings readers to a surprising turn in the poem because the poet is pulled from his war scene into his dreams. The soldier replays the scene of one of his war members “choking, drowning” (16) of poison gas, and at that point he could do nothing to help the poor man. He cannot help but see this scene replay because he says it is “In all my dreams” (15). He is filled with guilt and hates that he was unable to help the man. So now because of the war he has dreams of horrible things he has seen and is unable to forget them and that carries a burden on his chest all because of war. The …show more content…
The setting of the poem is in a ball turret which is a B-17 bomber which was used in WWII. The imagery of the womb is presented as Jarrell says “From my mother’s sleep I fell” (Jarrell 1). He is trying to portray the image of an unborn who is not in control by saying he “fell” (1). He is not in control because he is an unborn that cannot do anything after its mother as fell in to this “State” (1). The State meaning that U.S. military is controlling the life of a helpless individual. The thought of being “Six miles from earth” (3), in the bomber plane is like being taken away from life itself so now all he feels is that life is a dream. The imagery of the womb is elaborated in line two which states “I hunched in its belly” (2). This meaning the position of the ball turret gunner is the position of a child in the womb. The shape of turret is like the mother’s womb and the womb is cold because he states “till my wet fur froze” (2). Being cold in the belly of the ball turret or the womb of the mother is like dying slowly, you know that the end is near. At the end of the poem Jarrell tells readers “When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose” (5). This means that he died while he was in the turret and the womb imagery comes back because it is like the mother had an abortion. The hose lets us know that the womb is being cleansed

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