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Could someone please mark my comparison essay for remains vs war photographer?


Could someone please give me a mark and kind of estimate grade for this comparison essay of Remains vs War photographer? I'm proud of it.. although doubting myself. I also need to do a conclusion and another structure paragraph. What do we think so far?

Both ‘Remains’ by Simon Armitage and ‘War photographer’ by Carol Ann Duffy present similar ideas of physical, emotional and internal trauma that stems from the conflict of war, although exhibited in somewhat different, twisted ways. While ‘Remains’ displays the tragic, everlasting effects that hopeful soldiers are subjected to, ‘War photographer’ focuses on the secondhand feelings of guilt whilst also tackling the theme of sensationalism and apathy in media today. Both poems are written to determine war as thoroughly traumatising and deeply disturbing as patriotism, identity and hope are stripped slowly from each soldier in the system.

The poems both use different narrative voices to convey the dissimilar presentation of conflict. Armitage writes ‘Remains’ in the first person from the perspective of a soldier- more specifically, Guardsman Tromans. The use of the pronoun “I” could perhaps symbolise the guilt he is bringing upon himself, for shooting the looter “A dozen times”. However, in the beginning, the use of ‘I’ is contrasted with the distribution of the blame: “Myself and somebody else and somebody else”. The reference made here represents the torn mindset of Tromans, with the longing to alleviate the guilt by taking the responsibility off himself. In this way, Tromans works to syntactically control the stanzas to diminish his role in the murder of an innocent looter. The sense of sacrilege created heightens the feeling of tension in the poem by reflecting on the soldiers own internal conflict, completed through a fear of mutiny. In contrast, Duffy writes ‘War photographer’ in the third person. The anonymity of the subject, “He”, lets him blend into the rest of the population- as if he is just like us. This also demonstrates that the photographer is also only human; It shouldn't be abnormal to feel distraught when faced with brutal scenes- or maybe, perhaps he has become so invested in his duty that he has been stripped of the identity he once held. But, on the other hand, this could reflect the feelings of detachment from the face of conflict, and allows him to continue to do his job without getting too emotionally invested (supposedly). Although, Duffy’s creative use of the accusatory pronoun ‘they’, sets himself off from the British public. He appears a lonely figure, alienated from the English population- presenting the emotional disengagement from his life. The solitude Duffy has created for the speaker could connote the lasting effects of war and how the brutal memories have deeply affected him. This exhibits how conflict has caused guilt to overcome a man, pushing him into isolation.

The different experiences of conflict presented in both ‘Remains’ and ‘War photographer’ are conveyed through the significant amount of emotive language that the poets use. Armitage’s language is saddening and grotesque- the soldier iterates that ‘The drink and the drugs won't flush him out’. The irony of the military term ‘flush’- to bombard, and get the enemy to leave cover- perhaps illustrates that he is trying to dislodge the memory of the looter from his mind. In addition, the comparison to the countable noun ‘drugs’ and drinking, could represent the way he is bombarding himself with substances to eradicate the memories from his mind; Although, it is evident that the misuse of narcotics is only strengthening the loneliness and PTSD that Armitage documents. This could show Tromans desperate attempts to escape the guilt that overshadows him, and the perpetual consequences that conflict has had on his lifestyle.
Moreover, the hasty turn to substance abuse that Armitage portrays could perhaps symbolise the idea that he is young and naive. The immediate reaction to dull the memories is a clear influence by the maturity of the army, with soldiers as young as 16 being presented with bodies, “Sort of inside out”. The lack of attention that soldiers are given after the fact is telling, as cadets just like Tromans are left to their own devices- with the only option out, being to ‘self medicate’. Which, in consequence, demonstrates the internal conflict that optimistic, patriotic people are forced into by people of authority and power with a lack of escape.

Whereas, in ‘War photographer’, Duffy makes it clear that the photographer feels obliged to do his job, no matter how gory, through her choice of language. The description of the photographer’s “Hands which did not tremble then / Though seem to now” connotes the obligation (despite having chosen the career) to get a clear, profitable photo when faced with a scene so grotesque. In addition, when he gets home to peaceful, “Rural England”, his hands “tremble” with anxiety and fear. He does not need to control his emotions and vulnerability; The use of enjambment could possibly imply that he is a separate person at home than on the battlefield- distancing himself from a photographer who’s moral compass is seemingly undecided. His peaceful, leafy green home of ‘Rural England’ contrasts the asyndetic list in stanza one: “Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh” These are all places that have suffered through ravages of civil war and genocide - all contrary to the beautiful, untouched England where he lives. By the end of the poem, Duffy demonstrates that the photographer has become numb to his job, as he stares with emotion ‘impassively’. The idea that he must be cold and desensitised because he ‘has’ (imperative verb) a job to do is further reiterated when the photographer ‘earns a living’ off the photographs of mutilated soldiers. The accusatory pronoun ‘they’ condemns the British public for their apathy and ignorance on issues in the media. Repetitive assonance creates a monotonous feeling of drudgery. The photographer is one of many in a system, and is just assigned more jobs, creating an empathy for the hopelessness of his career.

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