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Analyse "Aftermath" by Siegfried Sassoon and "I am" by John Claire

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Introduction

Poetry-reading log 1st poem-Aftermath by Siegfried Sassoon 2nd poem-I am by John Claire The poem ?Aftermath? written by Siegfried Sassoon is a highly critical piece that discusses the emotional and materialistic costs of World War I. The reason for its criticality is that it was in effect a ?plea? to the world that we must never forget the traumatic events that occurred not only in World War I, but in all wars. The poem illustrates all the undesirable attributes of war to the reader, by constantly employing descriptive negative connotations. It then goes further by repeatedly asking the rhetorical question, ?Have you forgotten yet??. This emotive suggestion to the reader richly portrays the overall message of how we must not ever forget what has occurred, as that is the only way to ensure a positive future for humanity. The main purpose of this text was to inform society how we mustn?t forget the tragic events that occur in war and in doing so not let history repeat itself. The reason I felt Siegfried wanted to inform society of this, is because the events that occur in wartime are of such repulsion that the only ?just? option is to not repeat them. Events of such a horrifying nature were referred to numerous times throughout the poem and include the statements ?corpses rotting? and ?the doomed and haggard faces?. ...read more.

Middle

As a result of this Siegfried?s response is one of overwhelming power and is why his message is not only taken aboard by the reader but taken to heart. This is due to him enforcing reality on us the reader, and makes us too; want to ?swear?---?lest we forget?. The poem ?I Am? written by John Claire is a highly renowned piece that discusses the mental and emotional effects on someone that has been forgotten by society. It then goes further and shows the internal conflict that arises when such events happen to an individual. The poem is based on John the author?s life, after his best friend had subjected him to a mental asylum, so he himself could run away with John?s wife. John claims complete sanity and wrote the poem ?I Am? as a way to vent his helplessness; he never intended the poem to be read by anyone else, which adds to its overall effect. Right from the beginning, two main idea?s are portrayed to us the reader; firstly that the author is suffering and that this suffering is in part inflicted by himself; also there is the idea that there is a living impression to the poem. In the first stanza the extent of the author?s unhappiness with life becomes painfully obvious. He evidently realises the vicious cycle that his life has become is somewhat self-inflicted, with his problems being given extra air time by his own psyche. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite the modernisation of our planet have we really changed to the point we are fair to judge a person insane and make them suffer as a result? This is the ultimate question I feel the poem asked us as the reader. The poem?s ?Aftermath? and ?I Am? were similar in the fact that they were both discussing highly emotive topics within our society and they both showed their respective internal effects on an individual. However the main difference was that in ?Aftermath? Siegfried used a social platform and his respectability to enable his message to be projected to the world, while in ?I Am? John uses the poem as a way to express his inner emotion, similar to that of a diary. His poem wasn?t intended for anyone else, he only wanted to express his unhappiness to himself. This highlights the key difference of the poems. Although both sent strong emotive messages to the reader, ?I Am? sent a slightly stronger message as it not only showed the effects depression has on an individual but that they can also no longer work in conjunction with society and therefore resort to themselves, as John did with his poem. I thoroughly enjoyed both poems and recommend both ?Aftermath? and ?I Am? to anybody that is both willing to be empowered by people of experience and willing to question society?s status quo?s. ...read more.

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