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Comparing Dulce Et Decorum Est And No More Hiroshimas

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Introduction

"DULCE ET DECORUM EST" - these are the first words of a Latin saying (taken from a limerick by Horace). The words were widely understood and often quoted at the start of the First World War. They mean "It is sweet and right." The full saying which ends the poem is "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" which means that: it is sweet and right to die for your country. In other words the poet is trying to emphasize how it is a wonderful and great honour to fight and die for your country. "NO MORE HIROSHIMAS" is a slogan which was given sarcastically by the government in order to show that a Hiroshima (atomic bomb) had caused so much damage and that they really did not want another one. In this poem, James Kirkup explores many factors which make Japan seem "unchanged" and a few factors which show the "catastrophe" and deaths which took place in Japan. James describes people's bodies as relics. A relic is a part of the body which belongs to a martyr. In other words, James is calling the people of Japan martyrs. ...read more.

Middle

James uses a lot of descriptive and emotive language in order to show that Japan is redeveloping and in an excellent condition. He describes Japan's wealth and people's feelings in Japan throughout the majority of the poem. In fact it is not until the last two stanzas where he actually reveals the horrors that were caused by the "Hiroshima." James describes the bodies of the people that died as "relics" that made him "weep." He also describes some of the other events that were a consequence of the disaster. A few examples of this are the "burnt clothing", the "stopped watches" and "the torn shorts." These images are very graphic and give the reader a true idea of what the people actually felt like and what kind of situation they were facing. The last two lines of the poem are very effective because James says that we should "remember only" the things that made the people suffer and the catastrophic events because these are "the memories we need." This phrase is very important because it implies that we should only remember the destruction and catastrophe which took place. ...read more.

Conclusion

James Kirkup uses repetition to emphasize certain aspects of life in Japan that are unaffected by the "Hiroshima." An example of this is: "the river remains unchanged, sad, refusing rehabilitation." By repeating this particular line twice in the 2nd paragraph, James is trying to draw the reader's attention to this particular aspect of life in Japan. Wilfred Owen describes a soldier who was "helpless" and who was "guttering, choking and dieing." These strong and emotional words show how the soldier was suffering and dieing violently. Owen probably meant that the soldier was flickering out like a candle or gurgling like water draining down a gutter, referring to the sounds in the throat of the choking man. Also, it could be a sound partly like stuttering and partly like gurgling. Even though, Wilfred shows the death of the soldiers, he also shows their enthusiasm by using phrases like "My friend, you would not tell with such high zest." James Kirkup describes the people and places in Japan with many adjectives which show that even though the country had been bombed by a Hiroshima, Japan and its people have a lot of enthusiasm in order to rebuild the country and people's lives. Words = 1223 ...read more.

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