Can someone mark this english essay about poppies and remains.Watch
Memory is something that is seen as very powerful in both Poppies and Remains as it takes control over the character’s lives in both poems. However, in Remains, the memories are something that remains in the soldier's life, traumatizing him, whilst in Poppies, the memories of the son and war end up causing the mother pain and grief.
In Remains, the plosive diction in” and the drink and drugs won’t flush him out” suggests the psychological effects of PTSD, as the memories of war back follows them along with the home. The diction perhaps mimics the sounds of machine guns that almost echo in the soldier's head which cannot escape. By creating this despairing tone, Armitage perhaps wanted to reveal the reality of PTSD as he based this poem on Guardsman Tromans, a war veteran, who like many soldiers were affected psychologically because their memories of war don’t seem to leave them. This could present memories as powerful as it takes control of the soldier's emotions, by haunting them forever. Moreover, the violent verb” flush” is associated with getting rid of something unwanted or unpleasant, which could suggest that the soldier is trying to get rid of these memories so he could live normally- he is trying to gain power over the memories. Alternatively,”to flush” is also a military term meaning to bombard someone ie. an enemy to get them to leave. Thus, being compared to ideas of “drink” and “drugs” suggests that he is bombarding himself with these substances in an attempt to chase the memories out of his mind. Here, we as the reader perhaps, understand that memories and effects of war don’t switch off when soldiers come home, they remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Similarly, Weir uses plosive diction in ”of yellow bias binding around your blazer” to reflect how the son's memories have caused this pain to emotionally affect the mother. The sounds mirror the harsh sounds of bullets, suggesting the sounds of war and conflict are echoing inside the mother’s ear. The conflict, in this case, could reflect the conflict between the mother and son as the mother is clinging to him whilst the son wants to leave. The memory and presence of the son are so powerful, that it leaves the mother emotionally wounded-she acts as if she’s been to war herself. The reader would expect this mimicry to come from the perspective of the soldier but it comes from the mother to reflect on her suffering of war. Writing from the mother's perspective, a female is rare as most poets wrote about war around men. Therefore, Weir may have wanted to focus on the way war affects women- defying gender norms in literature- and how it not only affects soldiers but their loved ones as they are psychologically scarred.
In Remains, Armitage perhaps used the enjambment across the stanzas in” But I blink. And he burst again” to create the idea that the reality and memory of the soldier have merged, maybe indicating to the reader to feel empathy for the soldier as even when home, this memory invades his reality, torturing him endlessly. Armitage perhaps may have done this to create awareness about PTSD as it was widely ignored as men were thought to be strong and not cry, so hence Armitage is defying toxic masculinity. Furthermore, the caesura represents the finality of his suffering but this attempt ultimately fails as it just continues onto the next stanza, displaying how the memories of the looter resist any attempt to be rid of.
However, in Poppies, Weir uses varied stanza lengths to reflect the emotional breakdown of the mother caused by these memories. This structure symbolises chaos, which could present how the mother’s way of thinking emotionally lacks order and control as she is overwhelmed by the idea of loss and pain. Weir, perhaps did this to portray the chaotic impact of war on those left at home, as we learn that war has scarred the mother’s way of life. This presents memory as this destructive power, due to the loss of her son, his unseen presence has psychologically affected his mother, as seen from her inability to express her emotions. Weir may be also arguing that wars are not necessary, as they impact so many people, which she may have discovered due to her interest in the families of victims of war.
Ultimately, I think that Remains portrays the power of memory more significantly because it reflects the psychological burden of soldiers who feel and experience those they have killed, who are alive in their minds. Remains teach the reader that memory leads to bigger consequences such as PTSD, trauma, mental health issues. Though, Poppies addresses a female perspective of war, a feminine memory of war, something that was rare before, which subtly brings about themes of feminism and gender equality. Thus, both poems discuss modern issues surrounding the aftermath of war and discuss the power of memories, which is prevalent in modern society, as they subconsciously influence our decision.