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Compare the portrayal of misfortune in The Last Night and Refugee Blues

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Compare the portrayal of misfortune in The Last Night and Refugee Blues Both poems talk about the misery of the Jewish people being hunted down by the Nazi's for what they believe in. Refugee Blues focuses on the misfortune of being Jewish and provokes sympathy at their impossible situation. Similarly the Last Night also focuses on the innocence of the Jewish people; it shows two little boys in their last moments of freedom and shows how the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time would lead to their deaths. The portrayal of misfortune is initiated in Refugee Blues through both language and content. The poem is written to the tune of the Blues which initiates a thought of melancholy "say this city has ten million souls, Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:" Like most Blues ...read more.


This is a poignant message to the reader, as Western culture is proud of its freedoms of belief, and helps build sympathy at the character's misfortune in being a German Jew. Small details are also shown, such as "the soft bloom of his cheek laid, uncaring, in the dung." To again show the misfortune of the characters. The adjective "uncaring" highlights the misfortune of the two boys as it emphasises their orphan status and create a strong emotive message to the reader, as it shows the inhumanity of killing such innocence. In addition the setting of the text, "laid.. in the dung" emphasises the misfortune of the character, to be lying in animal excrement through no fault of their own, which, in conjunction with the atmosphere of the text, "with sobbing passion" creates a strong effect of sympathy to the characters. ...read more.


In both pieces, portrayal of misfortune is both subtle yet convincing. In Refugee Blues the repetition of the last line, "Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us" adds emphasis to the conclusion of each stanza, and for each case explaining the misfortune that became the character. It also deliberately jars the flow of the piece and doing so draws attention to those words, in order to emphasise the misfortune of the character. In contrast The Last Night uses no repetition and is remarkable for the flow which it achieves, despite being a prose piece and this is achieved through a remarkable mix of action and description to keep the pace of the piece alive: often in the same sentence. Refugee Blues develops the portrayal of misfortune through the plot of the poem as each stanza the writer's situation gets progressively worse. ...read more.

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