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How Did the Poets And Songwriters You Have Heard Respond To the War?

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Introduction

HOW DID THE POETS AMD SONGWRITERS YOU HAVE HEARD RESPOND TO THE WAR? The selection we were given contained the works of only three people. In my opinion though, these were some of the most influential people of their time. This is either because they were rich and famous, or because they brought a sense of stark reality into their poetry and songs. Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan are both prolific musicians who are very highly respected and whose views on war helped to influence a generation of people. Adrian Mitchell however, was more of an unknown. He wrote starkly, revealing poetry about the war and his views also helped to turn the tide of American pro-war sympathy. Together, these three men saw the War in an unsavory way. They saw it as an evil and useless act of power and aggression. However, they were part of a minority of people. Luckily, they had status, money, and most of all they had gained the public's trust and respect. Adrian Mitchell responded to the war in a fashion that was as subtle as the war was violent. Mitchell wrote scathing pieces of poetry that often were set to famous tunes and songs. He parodied the war in such a way that it reached everyone. If you heard his poems once, set to music, every time you heard the proper song, you would remember about the little known poet who disputes the war. ...read more.

Middle

Mitchell uses repetition as a way for us to remember what he writes, and so, when we think of Vietnam, an embedded phrase which we have read many times comes back to us. Mitchell uses a psychological manner to get through to us. He does not try to convince that he is right by standing in our faces and shouting. Instead, he enters by the back door of our mind and takes us by surprise. We are left completely unprepared for his hidden message and meaning. Many more conflicts could be solved more easily through this peaceable type of brainwashing. Bob Dylan was another great figure of his time. He was a great influence as a singer and celebrity. Bob Dylan wrote "All Along the Watchtower" and Jimi Hendrix sang it. Hendrix played an active part in the Vietnam War as he was in the 101st airborne division, "The Cavalry". All Along the Watchtower is used to show the true feelings that soldiers had. The soldiers believed that they were being screwed over by the politicians and they connected and bonded with the first line of the song. "There must be some way out of here". All the soldiers felt this. They picked up on this and it helped them feel some hope because, for many of them, there had been no hope. ...read more.

Conclusion

It must have been so rare back then to criticize your own government's approach to the war. "Had a brother at Khe Sahn...there still there, he's all gone". Many soldiers had friends and relatives that fought and died in the war. They may have even fought at Khe Sahn, the bloodiest battle of the war. All these soldiers put their heart and feeble hope into the war. They were welcomed back home as bums. There weren't any jobs for them. They were veterans, but unsuccessful veterans. Nobody wanted anything to do with them. Springsteen was trying to make this abundantly clear to a nation of ingrates. Had they stayed a bit longer, they would have won. So, they shouldn't blame these poor soldiers for failing, they should blame themselves. The fact that Springsteen incorporated this into a song shows how strongly he felt about it. He sent his message out across the radio waves for everyone to hear and to understand. He tried to convince the people in the only way he knew how, by singing. Overall, all these three men had the same views regarding the war. They thought that it was evil and misrepresented. It was unfair to those who fought in it and was hardly a glorious thing to come home from. Mitchell, Dylan, and Springsteen, all tried their best to make a nation understand and see this. By: Julius Dima ...read more.

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