Compare and Contrast how feelings of fear and confusion are conveyed through the use of imagery and other poetic techniques.
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Compare and Contrast how feelings of fear and confusion are conveyed through the use of imagery and other poetic techniques. I am going to compare the use of poetic devices to portray fear and confusion in 3 different poems, they are; Patrolling Barnegat by Walt Whitman, On the Train by Gillian Clarke, and Storm on the Island by Seamus Heaney. These poems all portray a feeling of confusion, often it is linked with the theme of war. In Patrolling Barnegat, Walt Whitman uses repetition to enhance the power of the storm he is describing. "Wild, Wild the storm, and the sea high running" The repetition of wild in this line helps to enforce the power of the storm and nature. Whitman also uses personification in this line where he compares the movement of the sea to a person running, as if he is saying that the sea will move for nobody. He is also making it sound as if the sea is rushing to get somewhere as if it is on a mission.
The use of the word howl vividly describes the people crying into their phones, desperate to know how their friends and family are. Gillian Clarke's use of language helps people who may not have been in this situation themselves to understand the emotional anguish involved. Also, the first thing people think of when they think of wolves is their distinctive howl, which makes this line even more effective. Walt Whitman uses Personification numerous times in his poem, his clever use of this technique helps the reader to understand his descriptions more easily. "Shouts of demoniac laughter fitfully piercing and pealing" Here Whitman compares the storm to one of the most fear-provoking things possible, the words 'demoniac laughter' instantly make you think of an evil being, laughing at some destruction he has caused. This then ties in with the theme of the storm being totally uncontrollable and unstoppable. Walt Whitman also uses personification in the way he says that the storm is 'laughing'. Obviously a storm cannot laugh, so Whitman is portraying that the way the storm seems to enjoy being totally omnipotent.
In Gillian Clarke's poem, there is a very powerful line which sums up the emotional damage caused by and incident like a rail crash; "and in the rubble of suburban kitchens" This line contrasts the two scenes she is describing and mixes them into 1. She is using the metaphor of rubble to describe the devastation that wives, husbands, and children are feeling, as a family member is on the train as they eat their breakfast, and thy don't know whether not they are safe. Also, this line depicts the way that people are struggling to get in contact with family members, and those that cannot at all are probably facing an even greater emotional challenge. Gillian Clarke's use of Similes and Metaphors allows the reader to grasp what it would be like to be in the position of not knowing whether a family member is out of harm's way or not. Using these poetic techniques she can put the reader in the place of someone else, and allow them to feel their emotions. James Davies 11LW
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