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Published: 05-09-2019

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Dudley Randall's Ballad of Birmingham: Literary Analysis and Interpretation

Dudley Randall was born on the 14th of January, 1914 in Washington, D.C. Randall led a life of intellectual exploration, service, and literary entrepreneurship. He began writing poetry at an early age, and filled notebooks throughout his years, drawing on the civil right movements, function experiences, travels, and private experiences for inspiration. In addition to serving his nation in the Pacific theatre throughout World War II, Randall worked for Ford Motor Firm, the U.S. Postal service, and several libraries. In the 1960’s, he built one particular of the most important presses in American history, Detroit Free of charge Press, and went on to publish scores of African American authors, as nicely as a number of books of his personal poetry, which includes some truly classic pieces (Gutstein).

For numerous years, this country has been unjust and humanity has not often been treated equally. Dudley Randall, who is most well-known for his literary contributions, wrote a poem known as “Ballad of Birmingham” representing the inequality and racism during the early 1960’s. The primary themes of the poem are racism and the struggle of African Americans around the time of the civil rights movement in 1964.

In the poem “Ballad of Birmingham”, Randall illustrates a conflict between a kid who wishes to march for civil rights and a mother who wishes only to defend her child. Considerably of the poem is study as a dialogue amongst a mother and a kid, a style that gives it an intimate tone and supplies insight to the feelings of the characters. Randall utilizes a sad tone and irony to describe the events of 1 of the most vivid and vicious chapters from the civil rights movement, the bombing of a church in 1963 consequently, wounding 21 folks and costing four girls their lives. All through the poem the kid is eager to go into Birmingham and march for freedom with men and women there, the mother on the other hand is adamant that the child ought to not go since it is unsafe. It is clear that the child is concerned about the events surrounding the march and wants to be element of the movement. The kid expresses these feelings in a way that seems to be mature and perceptive of the surrounding planet, expressing a want to help the civil rights movement rather than to “ go out and play.” This is displayed when the child says, “Other youngsters will go with me,/And march the streets of Birmingham/To make our country free”(10-12). The mother provides permission for the child to go to church, rather of the freedom march, to sing in the children’s choir at their church believing that practically nothing will harm her youngster in the location of God. The tragedy, a central feature of numerous ballads, becomes especially clear and poignant at the end, when the mother searches for he missing daughter. The most emotional scene in the story portrays how you can be deceived and how African Americans had been in no way safe, Randall draws us vivid imagery when he says:

The mother smiled to know her kid

Was in the sacred location,

But that smile was the final smile

To come upon her face

For when she heard the explosion,

Her eyes grew wet and wild.

She raced by way of the streets of Birmingham

Calling for her kid. (21-28)

In his poem “Ballad of Birmingham” Dudley Randall explores the themes of racism and struggle ultimately, employing components of style such as repetition, rhyme and rhythmical patterns, he argues that anything can happen, even when one least expects it.
Dulce et Decorum Est Analysis
Wilfred Owen’s Poem “Dulce et Decorum Est,” Shows the reality of war firsthand. He repeats the term “Dulce et Decorum Est” to emphasize how folks were encouraged to fight for their country and how war was glorified. Nevertheless, when he writes about the memories and flashbacks of Globe War I, it becomes clear that war is anything but glorious. Owen describes in his writing that people will encourage you to fight for your country, but, it may possibly be sentencing yourself to a pointless demise. He is well aware that death is hideous and is forced to face his comrades violent deaths, “In all my dreams, just before my helpless sight/ He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning”(15-16). He tends to make you really feel as if you are in a war with him, watching his friend get gassed and getting photos of bent bodies corrupting your thoughts. Owen makes use of imagery, similes, and irony to make the reader engaged in his poem. His similes examine war to diseases that may be incurable, “Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud/ Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues”(23-24.)

Owen utilizes intriguing words to describe his war knowledge such as, “ Guys marched asleep,” and “Drunk with fatigue.” Owen could have employed word like “the males sleepily marched,’ and ‘they have been very tired,’ but he chose not to. He also makes use of adjectives that make simple items into horrific scenes such as, “ecstasy of fumbling,” and “smother dreams…” Some thing as simple as dreams he turns into nightmares. He tends to make words like that ironic. In the last line, “Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori,” is irony itself (Wilfred) .Translated in English it indicates it is sweet and glorious to die for one’s nation. There is nothing sweet about a painful death. The theme of this poem is anti-war, he discourages enlistment by shedding a unfavorable light, particularly when saying, “My buddy, you would not tell with such higher zest/To kids ardent for some desperate glory,/The old Lie: Dulce et Decorum Est” (25-27)
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