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GCSE English Literature Paper 2
Compare how poets present the ways that people are affected by war in War Photographer and one other poem
I am going to compare War Photographer By Duffy with Poppies by weir. Both poers present the negative affect of war, through the domestic impact of conflict . However weir focouses more on personal impact compared to duffy who implies her frustration at the lack of national impact of war. Duffy wrote War Photographer inspired by a personal friendship with a war photographer. implying that her explict description of the domestic impact is accurate seen as it has came from a personal opinion. However Weir wrote Poppies through her personal experience of the troubles. The troubles was a conflict in Ireland between the catholics and the protestants. This conflict links with the ‘Belfast' mentioned in Duffy's poem. Belfast similarly being a conflict between catholics and protestants. Both poems look at the pain and suffering of those left behind.Domestic conflict caused by National conflict.
The use of Domestic languge in Poppies in the violent Images of war encapulates the poets purpose of this poem. Explicitly showing the affect of war on people left at home.'****ams of paper red’ has both a domestic image and a war image. Portraying the suffering of the mother, Her Overwhelming internal conflict. ‘spasms" having connotations of pain and suffering
Similarly the choice of domestic language pared with the graphic, powerful imagery of the dangers of war explicily shows the domestic impact. ‘Running children un a nigntmere heat" implies a lack of safety. The vunerable children’s lives have been destroyed by the futile war. This imagry is evocative, helping the reader to fully understand how war not only affects the solders but preys on the innocent Children left at home.
"Poppies" is witten in a dramatic monologue, emphasising the pain caused for the ignored mother., reinforcing the personal umpact - her son is not their. This form contrasts with the regular and rigid form of War Photographer replecting the ‘rural England’ and his ‘ordered rows' possibly his only way of controlling his overarching emotions. However this rigid structure opposes the chaos national conflict causes.
Weir further describes the connection between people left at home and the shoulders out at war through the placement of domestic imagery alongside violent military metaphors.
The portrayal of the mothers lack of protection
'without a winter coat or enforcements of scarf, gloves' prehaps suggests how violence has left a mark on her everyday life.
The semantic feild of the millatry enclosed with ordaniry scarfs and gloves further portrays the unstoppable affect of war on Civilians.
The idea that war leaves a memovable mark on everyone’s lives is similarly explored in War Proographed through the use of the powerful adjective ‘stained’ possibly suggesting that the mental impact of war will last a life time. ‘blood stained’ being ambiguous perhaps suggesting the memories of war are stained in his mind like the blood stained on the floor.
Duffy, using struchure, implies that the the War Photographers efforts are futile, His frustration towards the lack of national impact is undermined by the cyclical structure. This emphasises the repetition of past mistakes. Furthermore the unchanging structure reflects the idea that nothing will ever change, no
matter how hard he tries. This negative emotion towards war is further portrayed in ‘Poppies". The enjamiment breaking up the dramatic monologue implies her overwhelming emotions. However the constant changing stanza length reflects the unpredictability of war on the people stuck at home.
There is a difference in ideas in the poems. Weir challenges the preconcived ideas of conflict, ‘I was brave’ emphasising the personal impact - the impact of people
left at hame. However Duffy implies her frustration at the lack of national impact through the half-rhyme of ‘tears' between the ‘bath and pre-lunch beers' this unsalisfying sound possibly suggest the horrific pace the people turn back to their privilaged lives. Enjoying their ‘baths' and ‘beers', luxuries the soilders don't have.