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"War Photographer" Essay

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"War Photographer" Essay Choose a poem which explores the theme of loneliness or isolation. Show how the poet explores the theme and discuss, to what extent, your appreciation of the theme was deepened by the poet's treatment. In your answer you may refer closely to the text and to at least two of the following; theme, imagery, contrast, mood or any other appropriate feature. "War Photographer", a moving poem by Carol Ann Duffy, explores the theme of isloation. The poem, based on an interview the poet had with "War Photographer", Don McCullin, reveals the dilemma within his work and how this work results in his isolation. Through the use of theme and imagery, Duffy successfully deepens the reader's appreciation of the theme of isolation. The opening line of the poem is ambiguous. Duffy, choosing not to expose the true and horrific nature to war, instead introduces the Photographer's "darkroom" where he will develop the photographs he has taken: "In his darkroom he is finally alone" This could suggests that the photographer uses his "darkroom" to reflect on the darkness of the events that he has winessed. ...read more.


The reader is given the impression that the photographer, much like a priest, is a man on a mission - preparing to spread the words of truth. While revealing this, the two such different occupations become linked through the photographer and the preist's self inflicted isolation. They have both in a way, sacraficed themselves for the greater cause of informing the nation. As the developing process progresses, so do the photographer's thoughts and memories of the horrors he has witnessed. The imagery used to represent this gives the audience a real insight into his line of thought and reveals the extent of which his work affects him psychologically: "A stranger's features/ faintly start to twist before his eyes a half-formed ghost" The impersonality of "a stranger's features" reveals the widespread perception of these people as meerly another victim of a war-stricken country rather than a fellow human being. The fact that the victim appears to him "faintly" suggests that this is how the memory is coming back to him while the almost onomatopoeic use of "twist" implies real and immense suffering. ...read more.


The audience is given the impression that the photographer gets little job-satisfaction from taking these photographs. It's this job which cuts him off from the rest of the world as virtually him alone knows these horrors and is willing to damage himself psychologically for the chance to see others taking an interest in, not his work, but what his work represents - the effects of war on the human race on a personal and up-close level. He is willing to isolate himself for this cause. Carol Ann Duffy's "War Photographer", an account of a photographer isolated by his moral dilemma, succesfully deepens the audience's appreciation of the theme of isolation itself. Through the effective employment of theme and imagery, Duffy explores his dilemma and how it isolates him from the rest of the world. Yet, he continues with his work to try and change the public's perception of these victims as meer foreigners. The photographer, with the hope that his work will one day make a difference, continues to take photographs in the face of evil and soul destroying suffering. Word count - 984 words ...read more.

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