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Chose a poem that has helped you to see the unpleasant side of life - By close reference to the text, show how the use of poetic techniques has helped you to understand this side of life.

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Introduction

Chose a poem that has helped you to see the unpleasant side of life. By close reference to the text, show how the use of poetic techniques has helped you to understand this side of life. "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae is a poem that has helped me to appreciate the unpleasant side of life. It is a poem that deals with the reality that soldiers sacrificed their lives for the living, telling them to finish what they started. It also contains a message from the poet John McCrae that we have a responsibility not to replicate the mistakes of the past. The poet uses exceptionally vivid imagery and skilful symbolism, rhyming, steady pace, well-placed punctuation and other poetic techniques to help me understand this side of life. The imagery used in this poem creates an exceptionally clear picture in the mind's eye of what actually happened 'In Flanders fields'. "In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row," This quotation gives the reader the picture of red poppies, symbolising blood, leaking out of the ground between the white unnamed crosses showing just how many innocent people lost their lives. There is a stark contrast between bright, living flowers and the plain, dead, tombstones. ...read more.

Middle

One of the best uses of symbolism is in the last verse when the dead soldiers are telling the next generation to finish what they started, to finish their fight against evil. "To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high." This quotation shows that the dead men thought that they were losing and could not complete their objective of wining the war. It also means that they were throwing on the torch of life as they died. The torch symbolises guidance, hope, victory and life, which must someday burn out or in the case of the soldiers, be extinguished. It is effective as again it reminds the reader of death, as the soldiers threw away their lives for the ones they loved. Probably the best use of symbolism in the poem is in the last line: "We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields." In this quotation the dead people tell the reader that if they do not fight evil, there will be no peace in the world and more blood will be shed as 'the poppies grow'. It is very effective as all the poppies in the poem symbolise blood. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is effective because it gives the reader the impression of the sluggish pace at which the war was fought. In the last verse the poet speaks of an unending quarrel with the foe. This is a really good example of irony because if one thing became clear during the War it was that there was no quarrel between ordinary soldiers, except maybe in the heat of a fight. The real quarrel existed only in the minds of some stupid politicians and high-ranking officers, who mostly never experienced the horrors of the battlefields. The message from John McCrae, is that we have a responsibility not to replicate the mistakes of the past. I think that the message comes across extremely strongly and makes the reader feel sad and sorry for the dead and their loved ones. The First and Second World Wars taught the world an example not to fight to such a large extent that millions of people die at some point in a battle. In conclusion I found "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae a very interesting and intriguing poem. It helped me to see the unpleasant side of life and it dealt with the reality that soldiers sacrificed their lives for the living. By using exceptionally vivid imagery and skilful symbolism, amongst other poetic techniques to help me appreciate this side of life. ...read more.

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