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What were they like

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What Were They Like The Poem we have studied is 'What Were They Like' which was written in the 1960's by Denise Levertov. Denise Levertov was a anti war protester, who protested about the loss of the Vietnamese culture and the cruelty of the Americans. The structure of the poem was written in questions then answers as she wanted us to think about the questions then look at the answers after. Denise Levertov emphasises about the disaster which was caused by the Americans which left the people of Vietnam devastated. In the first question Denise Levertov tries to tell us that the people of Vietnam lived a simple life "did the people of Vietnam use lantern or stones". Denise levertov tries to tell us that the people of Vietnam had hardly any money let alone electricity. Vietnam was isolated from the advanced countries such as America, United Kingdom and much more. This brings sympathy from the readers towards the people of Vietnam, as thinks makes the reader feel very saddened by what happened to all those happy villagers. In the answer 1; Denise levertov tells us that darkness came across the Vietnam "Sir, their light hearts turned to stone". ...read more.


Levertov emphasises the fact that they were happy people, they were joyful. In the 1st point, Levertov tries to tell us that the villagers were calm people "singing resembled flight of moths on the moonlight". Levertov tells us that they were quiet, who loved nature. In the 2nd point Levertov tells us that there isn't an echo left in the village. "Who can say? It is silent now" this shows that the destruction brought the village at the edge of death. Many people's lives became meaningless. Levertov uses the short sentence as it stands out from the rest. Also it is very clear in what the sentence means also it makes the reader think about Vietnam. The poem 'What Were They Like' is written in past and present tense. The questions are written in past tense and the answers are written in present tense. She used the questions in past and present tense because she wanted us to think back. She wanted to tell us what they did back then. The answers are in past tense as nobody knows how they lived. The answers I think children were answering to a man of respect as nearly in each answer it starts off with 'Sir'. ...read more.


Levertov once again shows us that the people of Vietnam were happy. Levertov tells us that the people of Vietnam's happiness lied in giving birth; they 'gathered' together to celebrate life but Patmore's poem tells us that they had nothing to do other than watch a man die. "The dangling man hung straight and still". Patmore uses this sentence to create tension in the reader as to, why would people be happy to watch someone die? Levertov exaggerates to put her point across the US showing them that Vietnam never did anything wrong. They were being killed for living a happy life. On the other hand Patmore's poem shows how cruel the London society was. In 'What Were They Like' Levertov explains to us that the people of Vietnam were very isolated and we should have left it that way as so many innocent people have died. "There was only time to scream" Levertov tells us that death brought fear into the hearts of the villagers. In contrast to that, Patmore shows us that people were entertained by watching other people die. Everyone "enjoyed the wicked treat" (an oxymoron). This shows that they had no feelings for others. As on Levertov poet, it showed the people of Vietnam were scared to death watching people die ...read more.

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