Compare and Contrast Poems "Here", by R.S. Thomas, "Reservist" by Boey Kim Cheng, "Attack" by Siegfried Sassoon and “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen Paying Particular Attention to Their Statements on Human Violence and Human Nature

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Literature Essay

The four poems that are going to be analyzed below offer different statements on human nature and the subject of human violence. The poem “Here” by R.S. Thomas, a man of devout but questioning faith, centers on the themes of doubt and guilt. In the beginning stanza, we can see that the poem is the reflection of the persona, which we then realize is his questioning about religion. This is suggested by the quote “You can feel the place where the brains grow” which conveys the idea that the persona is wondering about something and that this is what he will develop through the poem and also shows he is an intelligent man, “like a tree”, old and wise, idea reinforces by the quote “the footprints that led up to me” which show he has a different perspective on life that most of us have, he can see everything he went through to get where he is now with perspective. The fact that it is told in first person suggests it is a poem about introspection and self-awareness, but in the following stanzas we can begin to think it may refer to the humankind as a whole, not just the persona. This is conveyed by the questions he makes, “Why, then, are my hand red/with the blood of so many dead?” where he talks about the bad things men has done as a whole. The diction of “mislead” also conveys the idea of the mistakes humanity has committed, but here it implies that it was not its fault, but that men where led to act wrongly, for example soldiers who are persuaded to commit atrocities in war. The idea of religious doubt and uncertainty is further developed by the rhetorical questions “Does no man hear when I pray?” and “That they will not do as I say?” because he prays but nothing happens and by knowing the author’s background and his questioning faith we can deduce from this quote he is not completely certain there is a God listening to his prayers. they also show the feeling of helplessness and despair: “That they will not do as I say?”. The last stanzas convey...
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