Analysis Of Miscellaneous Poems From Wwii Honors English Ii Assignment

1079 words - 5 pages

LIES
Through the poem, Yevtushenko conveys his deep condemnation for lying to the youth. In the
beginning of the poem, the author deliberately structures the first two lines so the word “wrong”
ends each line. With the last word in the sentence repeated, it emphasizes Yevtushenko’s
diligence towards honesty. As the poem continues, he reminds the reader that the youth “are
people too” (Yevtushenko 8), meaning they are perceptive; therefore, instead of lying to them,
they should be told that “obstacles exist [that] they must encounter” (Yevtushenko 17), as
difficulties often occur in life. Furthermore, by including the words “heaven” when describing a
pure world that has been created through lies and “hell” when describing reality, the author
juxtaposes lying and honesty, which creates a vivid image of the power struggle between the
truth and falsity. As the poem closes, Yevtushenko advises the reader to stop the lies that are
being told to the youth before the past repeats itself and chaos will prevail. Ultimately, so long as
the reader follows Yevtushenko’s guide, the youth will actively move towards improvement
rather than disarray.
A STRATEGY
Milosz’s poem reveals his personal strategy and struggle to stay alive, despite being in
opposition to the Empire. When Milosz states, “He hated the Empire, yet he had to hide
this” (2-3), it parallels Winston Smith, the main character of the novel 1984. Similar to Winston,
Milosz loathes the ideals of the government, but realizes he must pretend to approve of them in
order to avoid persecution. As the poem closes, Milosz conveys his goal of exposing the horror
he has witnessed in the train, in the city, and in the prison while the Empire relentlessly
exterminates all opposition, both native and foreign. Essentially, the strong image of horror that
is conveyed within this poem serves as a testament to the horror Milosz witnessed first hand.
YOU WHO WRONGED
When the poem begins, Milosz tells about the actions of Stalin as he exploits the common
citizen. Milosz portrays Stalin laughing at his corrupt deeds, as his coterie of brainwashed
commanders “mix good and evil, to blur the line” (Milosz 4), meaning the line of decency. Milosz
continues by criticizing Stalin’s story of “virtue and wisdom lit [lighting] your [his] way” (Milosz 6)
that have gained him medals of honor. Milosz ends this poem with a grave warning, in which the
poet will always find a way to record Stalin’s corrupt deeds, no matter how hard he might try to
stifle them. Finally, although my understanding is somewhat unclear, I believe Milosz closes the
poem with a piece of advice to the exploiter, in which they would be better off killing themselves
than trying to kill off the poet.
STALIN
Upon reading this poem, there becomes little to no argument that Mandelstam has an immense
distaste for Stalin. Mandelstam begins by stating “Our lives no longer feel ground under
them” (Mandelstam 1), meaning the citizens under Stalin no longer feel secure...

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