In the poem, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by the renowned poet Randal Jarrell, the poet tells about an unnamed gunner serving in war for his nation. The poem is one of the works about war and its horror. The protagonist of the poem is a gunner serving in the war. He was forcefully made to come to war by the government, disturbing his satisfied life.
Three characteristics of the protagonist are discussed as follows. First of all, the protagonist is not much of a patriot. The protagonist is not in the war on his own will, or because he wants to serve his nation. He is here only because he is forced to do so. It is visible from the line, “From my mother's sleep I fell into the State” (Line 1).
Secondly, the protagonist is depicted as a victim in the poem. This is evident from the fact that he was plucked from his mother’s home and forced to fight in the war he does not want to fight. The war does not end well for him and results in his death, eventually.
At last, the poem evidently shows that the protagonist is also in a moral paradox which is a condition during which certain acts, usually repulsive to the human beings, become acceptable for that time. While the protagonist clearly disapproves of the idea of fighting, he still has to do it because his country is in war. The moral paradox is also seen from “washing out with a turret hose” (Line 5) when he died.
Scott Fitzgerald, in his book "The Great Gatsby" explains various American Dreams among the characters of the novel. Scott depicted modernism in the novel.
The idea of Fitzgerald regarding the American Dream was that a human being can attain achievement only in life with social status or a family history. Even a lot of fresh wealth and work would not be sufficient for being accepted in the high class. Jay Gatsby, one of the characters in whom the definition of American Dream is portrayed says:
He had grown up from deprived youth, became a soldier, and did his job fairly hard to get wealthy by unlawful means. He was desperately in love with a girl named Daisy ever since he put his sight on her for the first time but he couldn’t get her as he was poor back then. From that day on, he got determined to do anything to get her. This meant that he was to earn money and be truly well-off. But for Daisy, class was so important than wealth, which is somewhat really difficult to attain when a person gets freshly wealthy.
The American Dream is still here these days, obviously, and wealth and covetousness are still a elements of it. In his book, the writer portrays the American Dream as money and triumph, he also affirms that a person who has just gotten rich would never have the same position among the society that an early wealthy man would have. In fact, American Dreams are not entirely about money, class and status. This undeniably depends on an individual’s meaning of a Dream. For instance, Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of ethnic impartiality and equality and a scientist would dream for a new cure. So everyone has his dreams.
Mina Loy concentrates on gender conflict in her poem Virgins plus Curtains minus Dots. She explains how marriage is different from what it is supposed to be. In the poem, the term “dots” indicate “marriage fractions,” or the wealth that women are supposed to bring along with them to their husbands. Young girls have been misleadingly made to believe that marriage is entirely about affection and bliss, when in fact it is about the amount of money that comes with it.
The poem creates a strong account of feminism, considering the responsibility of women from late 1800s till early 1900s. The thought of feminism became more extensively admired and the following poem depicts that. The narrator disregarded the truth that girls are actually being sold to the men according to their financial conditions.
However, now the idea has been resolved as we don’t observe such money mindedness anymore. Back in the early 1900’s, marriage was usually not done because of a person falling in love, it was rather done because men required women with high statuses so that they can themselves get rich.
At that time, Women were forced to marry because a woman lacking of a partner was mostly disrespected. They were supposed to be virgins till before their marriage and this was considered something of great significance as men only wanted virgin women to be their wives of that period.
Such thoughts changed drastically during the period of time and at present, the position of women in the society has improved to a great extent.
Fitzgerald, F. (2008). The great Gatsby (1st ed.). Detroit: Wheeler Pub.
Jarrell, R., & Parker, R. (1969). The death of the ball turret gunner (1st ed.). New York: David
Loy, Mina. (2005). Virgins plus Curtains minus Dots. Modernism: An Anthology.