Making Connections #2
When you think about war, you’re first thought is that you probably wouldn’t be reading them in poems but interestingly enough these poems had a lot to share, both for the individual soldiers and for the nations that enter the wars. There are many reasons why wars are started, like religion, freedom, peace but unfortunately more often for the main purpose for the rich man with his corporations and government backing him up. But as you read the poems you start to realize that these soldiers in the stories really don’t have much a clue why they are killing other soldiers just like them, and what the reason is. They begin recognizing that they had no actual sense of what they were signing up for as they were entering this place called, “war.”
In the poem, “The Man He Killed” the speaker shares about a time when way back when he shot a man while he was at war, and after the realization of him figuring out that he actually killed the man he begins thinking about what happens if he had met him at a bar instead of at war, he assumes that they probably would’ve been buddies and would’ve had an awesome time together. As the speaker tries to explain the reasoning behind him killing the guy he realizes he only did it because he was his “enemy” and was wearing the enemy’s uniform and which then he understands that he never had a good reason for killing him, the man had never done anything wrong to him personally, in fact, he was a complete stranger.
Yet another day during World War I in “Dulce Et Decorum Est” and for the speaker you can tell doesn’t have that much recollection of what life used to be like since he’s been at war. Every soldier there are not only physically exhausted but also mentally drained from the constant war fever. But that’s only the beginning one night as the men were heading home, gas begins covering all around them. As the soldiers scramble for their masks in time to save themselves from suffocating not all them were that fortunate and many soldiers were left stumbling around not able to reach their masks in time. After awhile the speaker still keeps thinking about how he watched one of his men die hopelessly, and the speaker can't do anything to help the dying soldier. Which upsets him because back in English they are telling the children they’re that “it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country” and he can’t process why they are still corrupted the children for this terrible place called war. He knows that if the civilians back home saw what was really happening they would change their minds, just like he did and come to the conclusion there is no good reason for death, or war.
In the poem, “Rich Man’s War” there’s a soldier named Jimmy who enlisted because he couldn’t seem to find a job anywhere. Jimmy has no other choice because he had a family back home to take care of. (“Left behind a pretty young wife and a baby girl/A stack of overdue bills and went off to save the world”) but in reality being a solider doesn’t do much for him because he still has his car taken away, and he’s fighting a rich’s man war, meaning there’s no true meaningful reason behind the