Theme of War in Poetry Essay Example
In today's culture, war is frequently portrayed as wonderful and powerful. Many films exclude footage of young troops squandering their lives and tens of thousands of civilians dying in unheroic deaths. “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” and “Second air force” are two poems that seek to address war-related themes. The narrators of these poems employ imagery, language, and grief to convey the brutality and misery of war.
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner and the Second Air Force depicts both the futility of life and the callousness of combat.
The concept "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" is an extended metaphor. Jarrell was known for seeing the soldier as a sacrificial kid, and he uses this image to great effect in the poem. “My moist fur froze,” the gunner is compared to a fetus, a newborn animal in the womb. The gunners' coats featured fur on the inside, creating a double picture of the young man in the jacket and the newborn animal. The poem continues to link birth and death, culminating in the flat last declaration of a life cut short. While the flesh perishes, the machine lives.
Many of the fighters are quite young and have just recently completed their training. He's using this poetry to express the terror felt by many young males who were snatched from their mothers' arms and thrown into the middle of warfare and are sent on suicide missions.
The gunner felt separated from what he knew of life since he was so far away from anything that was known and comforting to him. It would only be a matter of time before he "woke to black flak and the nightmare fighter." The opposing fighter planes are known as "nightmare fighters" because they startled the gunner awake from his dream-like condition, which was so far removed from reality. The flak and nightmare warriors might be regarded as the hardships that await us once we leave the womb, driving us closer and closer to death.
The Second Air Force takes a female perspective on the subject, telling the narrative of a lady who visits her son at a bomber training field one day. The scenery, hangars, and guys working on planes appear to her like an alien planet. The woman senses the approaching darkness and fears for the young soldiers, who are both innocent and purposeful, and who are so vulnerable in the presence of the weapons and equipment they must rely on. She is unable to believe in their mission, but they are unable to see beyond it. “The bombers are the bombers for them.” The mother's affection for her kid and her worries for him are weighed against the bleakness of the environment and the presence of the death machines.
"The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" and "Second Air Force" by Randall Jarrell are based on his experiences as an Army pilot during World War II. To underscore the young innocence of the soldiers who fought and too frequently perished, Jarrell employs an elaborate metaphor of the gunner being like a fetus in its mother's womb in the first, brief poem. Jarrell views the boyish pilots through the eyes of one pilot's mother in the second, lengthier poem. Finally, she is "perplexed" by what she sees and fears, while the soldiers' "manufactured monsters" remain "unquestioning."