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Memories And Their Role In Character Motivation: An Analysis Of “Dreams Of Home”

1030 words - 5 pages

Remembrance and the use of memories not only serve a role as a form of inspirational and driving force, but also serve as a path way to immortality for those who have long passed. Remembrance takes many forms, one of which is literature, and a specific area where this is true is in war literature. Examples of this range from the lyrical genius of “Heart of Oak”, which recollects and celebrates the British Navy in the 19th Century, a time in which the Union Jack ruled the seas, to Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” In NCdt. Iain Brooks’s “Dreams of Homes” the practice of memory through composition is present, in both the form and content of the sonnet, through the recollection of the life of an individual and more specifically how those memories drove the individual to keep striving the replacement of those memories, with the actual thing. It also demonstrates how those memories, despite being thwarted in death, grant the speaker peace in a world that was once full with turmoil and dominated by war and acts of violence.
The role that remembrance and memory play in war literature, as well as war, can be seen in the content of the poem “Dreams of Home”. One such example of this is in the first stanza in which the speaker recalls luxuries that war has denied him, and that one who hasn’t participated in war, may take for granted. “A man can only dream of the many comforts of living back home.” (“Dreams of Home” lines 1-2) and, “A bed nice and warm, lots of things of course when you have been so lengthily apart” (lines 3-4) not only serve to represent the physical distance that has separated the soldier and his luxuries, but it also delivers the idea that these luxuries that are traditionally associated with civilized culture, represent the humanity that has also been long abandoned by the speaker. The idea of the humanity of the soldier being lost is then seen in the recollection of the soldier’s experiences in “towns, and fields, which are blood soaked forever.” (Line 8), in which the tone displayed hints that he has grown accustom to acts of violence. This is also demonstrated again in the accustomed tone of the first line of the third stanza: “One more attack, yet another city clear”(line 9). What comes next is the volta, in which the tragic demise of the speaker is described from, at first, a communal point of view -the use of the word we as opposed to I- and then in the personal point of view of the reader. This leaves us with the final line of the sonnet “And all I am left with are dreams of home” (line 14) which presents the reader with a resolution to the struggle and adaptation to violence that was presented in previous stanzas, and shows the reader that even though the soldier may not have physically returned to the memories of his normal life that he had yearned to return to, it was those memories that granted him peace in...

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