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Look again at From War Music and Refugee Blues. What impressions of conflict does each writer create by the ways in which the events are presented?

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Introduction

Look again at 'From War Music' and 'Refugee Blues'. What impressions of conflict does each writer create by the ways in which the events are presented? In your answer you should make close reference to the language of poems. Both poems deal with conflict but both in different ways. In 'War Music', we are shown physical conflict, at first creating a heroic image of Ajax. However, 'Refugee Blues' deals with inner conflict due to their German-Jewish background of which they are pre-judged against. Moreover, its structure of twelve stanzas is interesting with its relation to twelve bar blues: music with a depressing tone and the fact that each stanza could represent a month and therefore, in total, a year. This effectively emphasises the German-Jewish couple's stressful struggle in their attempted migration. Like 'Refugee Blues', the title 'From War Music' already suggests a relation to music. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover, it shows us their identity before they even mention they are 'German Jews' as this is a typical Jewish phrase. Their racial background is the main focus since it is the cause of all the inner conflict due to the rejection and depression which is created throughout. In 'War Music', the writer, Christopher Logue successfully paints us a picture of the action. The Trojans which 'swarmed so thick' are closely related to air which was also 'thick with arrows' suggesting that there was almost as many Trojans as arrows. The use of onomatopoeia gives us a realistic sense of sound with the use of words such as 'tickered' and 'clamouring', we are able to visualise such a chaotic but heroic image. Furthermore, the furious pace of the battle is reinforced with a metaphor of Ajax's head reaching 'back and forth//like a clapper inside a bell made out of sword blades'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The second stanza describes to us the one on one battle between the two of which Ajax's destiny is shown through Hector's quickness as he 'skipped', 'jived' and 'snicked the haft clean through its neck'. Again Logue skilfully uses the descriptions to create such a scene of conflict. Moreover, God is once again mentioned in conclusion as he 'stood by Hector's elbow' and not by Ajax's. Evidently, God's appearance is repeated, emphasising that Hector was destined to win and Ajax destined to lose. In conclusion, both poems are successful in conveying conflict but both in different ways. They each conclude negatively where in 'Refugee Blues', it ends in desolation 'in the falling snow'. The use of pathetic fallacy reinforces the tone of depression and pessimism. Furthermore, 'From War Music' ends with a strong statement that 'The ship was burned'. It stands out to us like the first stanza since it is only one line but it clearly links back to the beginning and middle. Overall, each poem uses the theme of conflict effectively and successfully, leading to the negative conclusions. ...read more.

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