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Presentation of In Flanders Fields - script

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Introduction

Presentation of In Flanders Fields - script Our presentation is on In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. There is an irregular rhyme scheme = aabba aabc aabbac Almost all lines are 8 syllables long The rhythm sounds like that of a nursery rhyme - there is an iambic pentameter with a very regular line length and rhyme scheme. This is in great contrast to the actual words all about death and war. Stanza 1 * Line 1 - 'In Flanders Fields the poppies blow' presents a nice natural image of poppies swaying in the breeze. * Line 2 - 'Between the crosses row on row, That mark our place...' 'row on row' signifies the enormous number of graves, as it is not a definite, but an infinite number of crosses. We all know that the crosses symbolise the graves of the dead. McCrae doesn't say it explicitly yet; he uses euphemisms of death as he knows the people at home will. This gives the poem a much sadder tone preparing us for what is to come. * Line 3 - '...and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below...', the larks have been personified and symbolise how the natural world was trying to carry on but could not, because of the war. ...read more.

Middle

This makes it sound as if now they are dead no-one cares about them. They are forgotten, which makes the next line yet more distressing: * Line 4 - 'In Flanders fields.' This short, abrupt phrase breaks the regular rhythm, and is only 4 syllables long unlike all the previous lines. It 'interrupts' the poem, just as the soldiers' lives were 'interrupted' by the war, (and by Flanders Fields, as this is where they were buried). Stanza 3 * Line 1+ - 'Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high...' this tells us, and all other people left behind to carry on fighting, because they (the Dead) cannot. * They are handing over the 'torch' of patriotism and honour, and do not want it to be extinguished as it also symbolises all the glory they fought and died for. * These words are very patriotic and inspiring, and you can understand why so many went out to fight. However it is also surprising in the context that these soldiers who have died for their country can still feel so patriotic. * Line 4-6 - 'If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.' These lines tell those left behind that if they do not carry on the fight, the Dead will never be able to rest in peace because they do not want to have died in vain. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is a very strange feeling because we have never lived through a world war and so do not have any idea of how these men may have felt. I really like this poem, as it effectively portrays the war and helps me to identify with the soldiers. It is bittersweet and touching, with the comparisons between the pain of the war and the peaceful, flower-covered scene it left behind, making those who read it think about the sacrifices that the soldiers made. 'In Flanders Fields' is emotive, well-written, dramatic and famous for a good reason. In this nursery-rhyme style poem reins a definite melancholy. The simple joys of life described such as feeling dawn and seeing sunset glow makes us appreciate those things we tend to take for granted. A feeling of guilt can be experienced when we are suddenly reminded of the death of these soldiers. Why are we still alive, and millions of soldiers dead just because of a war- a conflict between humans? The last stanza gives us a feeling of responsibility- we must hold the torch of patriotism and honour high, with all due respect to those who suffered, died and whose bodies are now lying in Flanders fields. * The poet Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae fought in the First World War in France as part of the Canadian army. He wrote "In Flanders Fields" the day after presiding at the funeral of a friend and former student. McCrae was to number among the 9,000,000 fatalities that the war would claim. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

*** 3 STARS

A good presentation which gives detailed analysis of the poem. Personal responses are insightful and the writer clearly engages with and understands the poem.
Some good close analysis using accurate terminology.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 07/08/2013

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