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After reading the poem by Wilfred Owen (located in your lesson content section) and the two assigned short stories by Tim O’Brien and Alice Walker from your textbook for this week, you should have noticed that both the poem and the stories share a commonality of how history, culture, and the background of the author all played an important role in developing works of literature in the 20th century.
All readings are listed for each module in the Lesson Content section of your course. The assigned novel is not due until the end of Module 03. There are also no written assignments on the novel until Module 03. All other written papers and discussions are based on poems or short stories located either in your text or in our library.
For your initial discussion post, share your thoughts on how history, culture, and the background of the author played key roles in developing one of the stories and on the poem you were assigned.
How are men portrayed versus women?
What key struggles did the characters undergo which revealed important information about the time period and their culture or background?
Your initial post should name the specific work and use quotes or lines from the readings. Be sure to acknowledge the source.
A close examination of Wilfred Owen’s “Anthem for a Doomed Youth” reveals the poet’s sorrow as he uses the symbol of cattle being slaughtered for those that are lost to the “monstrous anger of the guns ” (p. 200). However, it is important to note that Owen was not making an anti-war statement, but rather a lament at such innocent lives being taken on a distant battlefield so far from home and loved ones, as there is no one to mourn the dead on the fields of war. Owen, who was sent home once from the front for shell shock, wrote this poem while convalescing.
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
—Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds. (p. 200)
He was later sent back to the war front. While trying to lead his men to victory in Ors, France, he was killed in battle only one week before Armistice Day (November 11, 1918), which marked the end of the war.
“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker
“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien