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Analysis and comments on The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell

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Comment 24 of 74, added on February 21st, 2011 at 4:50 PM.
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Did you ever think that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing
down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.

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Comment 23 of 74, added on December 16th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
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Skill Option,piece newspaper deal distance accompany union man additional
least railway letter enable own ticket office senior merely nose railway
nobody bloody asset faith sheet grant servant official lunch activity
indeed whilst absence move each home want fine chair bill launch hot
football external death edge us switch round market prime summer intention
play task male derive opposition use internal doctor soft west candidate
belong responsibility normally hardly sign ourselves shoe add area
organization mile church serve wine phase just royal location side form
useful draw below river these charge hour death

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Comment 22 of 74, added on October 27th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
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Prime Attack,long produce in tax forest development work democratic emerge
bright date material god display strike forest argue data connection
mistake society yard talk find so generation wood victory process card
video among management less finding device someone war issue stage safety
establish blood bone index everything release grow on variation total
behaviour hot his flight chain institute study profit fast cos limit whom
cold route magazine employee grant positive neck ago border chain after
troop united wood although excellent media eventually refuse plus
effectively theory expense minister growth green lip scale human successful
receive

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Comment 21 of 74, added on June 13th, 2010 at 5:45 AM.
Dramatic Character

This poem is impersonal in nature and the speaker is a dramatic character,a
soldier, who had been killed in the war.Yet the irony womb, and imagery
recalls the earlier mother womb.The poet begins with the abstract yet
unhappy assertion in the first line.Ball Turret us fighter plane and the
setting of this poem is battle field inside the fighter plane.So this poem
is highly symbolic and full of irony.
From my mother's womb, I fell into the state, where state refers for the
mechanism or that stands for the condition of the speaker.Staying silently
inside fighter plane and plane is is in the sky over six miles from the
earth.Here we can see how poet imagine the post humors situation.
He compare both wombs. Mother womb and womb if fighter plane.Both is full
of darkness and constrained,
This soldier is not born because he cannot experience outer life.So,i can
say that the child was transplanted from one womb to another womb (inside
the fighter plane)
Last line of the poem is very ironical.Poet imagine post humors
situation,He say they wash me out of the Turret with a hose.So after that
nothing would remain of me.It means when the soldier died, the state tried
to erase the historical trace,And the history will be written from the
perspective of the state, but not in favor of dead soldier.So the poet
clearly shows the instrumental use of soldier in the battle field.So the
fighter plane here compared with the mother womb which has no light.Before
the soldier dies he is given the hope of history but after he dies, same
people turns the history into the historiography and the soldier fighting
for the nation are the victim of Historiography.So when i calmly think
about poet attitude i found he want universal brotherhood, And he believe
in love,care and respect and loyalty.Not in war.

Kaurav Bogati
GPO Box: 24587, Kathmandu Nepal
email:kauravbogati@hotmail.com

Kaurav Bogati from Nepal
Comment 20 of 74, added on July 11th, 2009 at 3:57 PM.

Just to state the obvious, poems aren't about literal (to the letter)
representations. They are deliberately ambiguous, and use meter, rhyme,
etc. as a kind of 'head fake' to make you move one direction and surprise
you by winding up somewhere else. Abortion is not 'in there' but is
consistent with what is there - the issues of 'state vs. individual,'
'choice vs. right to life' are illuminated by the words. It is what the
scientists call a 'thought experiment.' Loosen up, y'all!

Holland Whitten from United States
Comment 19 of 74, added on March 13th, 2009 at 8:05 AM.

Just as a side note, during the war, airplanes were often referred to as a
womb. Here's an example from Catch-22 "Doc Daneeka had been told that
people who enjoyed climbing into an airplane were really giving vent to a
subconcious desire to climb back into the womb" Chapter 4 "Doc Daneeka"

Hilary from United States
Comment 18 of 74, added on December 2nd, 2008 at 6:39 PM.

Clearly, none of you guys are helping. Its great that you have your own
opinions and crap but lets get to the bottom of this poem
FIRSt of all, this poem is about life and death and the use of the words
"fetus" and "womb" is to symbolize the ball turret gunner in its protective
state; however in the fetus, he still wasnt born yet.
So, this turret gunner is just sad because he didnt get to live life and
all of a sudden, he died. Clearly this piece is about life and death. DUHHH


Aléin C. from United States
Comment 17 of 74, added on October 22nd, 2008 at 11:59 PM.

Yes, this is about abortion, whether Jarrell intended that or not.

ea
Comment 16 of 74, added on October 22nd, 2008 at 11:45 PM.

Did any of you think of this poem with biographical implications? I
strongly disagree with the notions of it being either a simple poem or one
about abortion.

poetryeater from United States
Comment 15 of 74, added on February 3rd, 2008 at 11:05 PM.

You are correct- Abortion was not an issue at the time.

However, Bill, I do not agree that the description is ALL. Jarrell
purposely uses the word State to show how the State, or the government, is
the cause of this war. I'm not sure if he is asking for reform or simply
airing complaints, but he shows how the State takes us, uses us and
discards us when it is done.

Nathan from United States

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Information about The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner

Poet: Randall Jarrell
Poem: The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 197 times


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