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Write a comparison of the ways the writers present the theme of friendship.

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Introduction

Mandip Dhillon 13N Write a comparison of the ways the writers present the theme of friendship. 'Poison Tree,' by William Blake, a poem of an enemy being poisoned by an apple from a tree and 'Strange Meeting,' By Wilfred Owen, a conversation between two enemies; are both a subject of friendship and enemies. However both writers, in completely diverse methods express the running theme of 'friendship'. The theme of friendship in 'Poison Tree' is expressed through 'anger.' It is through this anger that the distinction between friends and enemies can be made. Blake argues that the anger between a friend will die down, "I was angry with my friend...my wrath did end." In contrast, however, between enemies it 'never' dies, but instead grows, "I was angry at my foe...my wrath did grow." ...read more.

Middle

From here readers learn that these men are on the front line, for their country and their government and not for their personal gains. The men, are human, they are completing their duty. They are not killing for the thrill of killing, but are killing for the reason that they 'have' to kill, have been given 'orders.' These men, in 'reality and in normal' circumstances would have been friends, however the circumstances on the front line are different, and the men are driven to become enemies and not friends. They are not fighting for personal motives. The soldier in Poison Tree, seems to be fighting for personal gains, this is expressed through the continuous use of, "I." ...read more.

Conclusion

However, 'Strange Meeting,' ends on a more content and peaceful situation. There seems to be an air of mutual understanding between the two soldiers... 'Let us sleep...' Overall, both poems discuss the relationship between friends and enemies. However, the definition of a 'friend' comes across in a different way, the meaning of 'friendship' means separate terms in each poem. Poison Tree, portrays friends to have eternal bonds, regardless of misunderstandings, anger/wraths disappear when it comes to friends. But enemies are those who are never forgotten, the wrath 'grows' but does not end. Whereas, in 'Strange Meeting,' an enemy can become a friend, they too are portrayed as human beings, who deserve the eternal bond of friendship, even if it is only for a moment, in one 'Strange Meeting.' ...read more.

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