The title “Homecoming” is used effectively to contrast the traditional universal implications of the word, with the shocking reality of dead soldiers flown home from Vietnam to grieving families. The word ‘homecoming’ usually implies a celebration or Heroic welcome for a great achievement, with a return to roots and family. However, the title has this return but with a saddening twist, because the homecoming described in the poem is related to death, mourning and loss with the arrival of a nameless body to a home country, this is quite different from the heartfelt joy extended to a loved one at a normal homecoming.
‘All day, day after day, they’re bringing them home’; ‘they’re bringing them in, piled on the hulls of grants, in trucks, in convoys’. The image of the amount of bodies being brought home is truly depicted here, these quotes show that the flow of bodies returning home from the was continuous every day hundreds of bodies were being brought home, none greeted with gratitude for the sacrifice they made, only the disappointed knowledge that they fought in a war for no reason.
A methodical production line of bodies is created with the use of “-ing” throughout the middle lines of the first stanza. “Bringing”, “picking”, “zipping”, “tagging”, and “giving” once again provide a horrible contrast between the living and the dead. Furthering this methodical sense is the repetition of ‘they’re’, ‘they’re bringing them home’, ‘they’re zipping them... [continues]
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