How Do the Authors Present Their Feelings on War in 'War Photograph' and 'War Photographer'

Topics: Photography, Emotion, Feeling Pages: 6 (2499 words) Published: February 5, 2011
How do the writers present their feelings on war?

In the poems ‘war photographer’ and ‘war photograph’ the audience are presented with two poems which express the feelings of the authors towards war. I will be comparing these two poems to find the differences between the narrators feelings. Kate Daniels poem is told through the voice of an American citizen looking in a magazine at a war photograph. Whereas, Carol Ann-Duffy’s poem is about a war photographer developing the photos, that he took previously, in a darkroom.

In the poem ‘war photograph’, we get the impression that the poem is narrated by a woman. We see this because the narrator shows compassion and is more sympathetic. ‘We’re feeling sorry for her’. Women usually show more compassion and sympathy than men, and we know that the author is female, so it is more of a direct viewpoint. She is displaying her views and compassion through the character. However, in the poem ‘War photographer’, we know that a man is narrating it as it refers to a ‘he’; ‘In his dark room, he is finally alone’. In ‘War photograph’ she feels detached from the child as she keeps referring to the distance between them, she feels helpless for the child. She is also appalled at the war as it is killing so many innocent people ‘being appalled at the war’. The war photographer is also appalled at the war, as he has to see the horrific sights everyday; ‘he remembers the cries of this man’s wife.’ He is scarred by the things he has seen. We are told ‘he is finally alone’ as if he has been running away from something and now he is happy to be away from the war. ‘Solutions stop in trays beneath his hands which did not tremble then, though seem to now’, this tells us that he did not have the full effect of his surroundings and the horror of it all, but now that he is alone and the photos are slowly developing, he can take it in, and really look at what was there and how terrible it was. This is different to war photograph, as in that poem, the woman can only imagine the horror that’s there. She only knows what’s in the picture and doesn’t have the memories and stay behind getting the picture which has more of an impact. As it isn’t her country or people she’s knows fighting, she has no personal involvement in the war and is merely just an observer, like her character. Both poems describe our lack of care and compassion for the people suffering in the war and the horrific state some of them are in. However, in ‘war photograph’ it describes in detail how she feels and gives an emotional response. In war photographer, Kate Daniels uses lots of language devices and effects, such as oxymoron’s, rhetorical questions and repetition. She repeats the word ‘running’ throughout to add emphasis on the fact that she is running away from the destruction and devastation around her. ‘She is running from the smoke’ ‘She is also running from the Gods’ ‘She is running – my God – to us’. It resembles her desperate attempt to run away from the bombs going off behind her. She uses rhetorical questions ‘how can she know what we really are?’ She uses ‘what’ instead of ‘who’ as we look like war hungry soldiers, the Americans are responsible for this picture. We seem not human. Rhetorical questions also make us think more and reflect on what we have done. It engages the reader. In War Photographer Duffy uses repetition in her poem on the words ‘he’ and ‘his’. The photographer doesn’t have a name and the use of these words makes us feel more detached from him as we don’t know his name and we don’t feel familiar with him. We are given the feeling of detachment in the poem ‘war photograph’ by using imagery ’10,000 miles away’ ‘In another world’ ‘on another Continent’. She is far away and we feel helpless. Kate Daniels makes us look past the picture. ‘She keeps on running, you know, after the shutter of the camera clicks’. She is telling us that everything doesn’t just become better after the photo has been taken, the girl...
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