Comparative essay between mcmxiv and six young men
The first poem written by Philip Larkin is named MCMXIV; through-out this poem Larkin describes war in a sarcastic manner, playing on the fact that the reader knows what happens next and using the implicit to bring out the horror. Superficially, this poem is about innocence, before war, about how life was, but deeply we will see that it for-shadows the war and how shocking that will be for the reader, how helpless it will make him feel. The second poem we shall be studying is a poem named Six Young Men, written by Ted Hughes. Here through a photograph before the war, this author describes with melancholy how happy they were captured by the camera and how they ended up… through the dreadfulness of the war. We will see that Hughes tries to directly interact with the reader by pointing out each character individually in the photo speaking as if the reader were actually next to him. Shock is again an ingredient to his work, for he says things very directly so that not even the reader can hope. Both poems use an element of surprise and have their ways of expressing it, in the end they have a similar message but it is expressed very differently.
In the poem “MCMXIV”, Larkin commences with a sarcastic tone, bringing in a sensation of an unstoppable fate. The atmosphere is also too calm, It’s as if we readers were the dogs before the storm, anticipating what is about to happen, mourning for it, trying to warn them, but of course in a dog life people wouldn’t understand, and similarly here in the reader’s situation, we cannot warn them; here this is illustrated by “wheats’ restless silence”; this places us in a situation of despair, of uselessness. Larkin insists on the fact that these people were innocent, here repeating the words “never such innocence” twice, towards the end and at the final sentence, innocence here again builds on this feeling of wrongness.
Humanity and nature here seem to be even, as he superposes the “tin advertisements for cocoa and twist, and