Surreal Freedom Essay

858 words - 4 pages

The possession of an appreciable feeling of belonging to a certain spot on this vast planet is a rare blessing. Home is where one’s identity is shaped, and is where one’s perceptual consciousness comes to live. The clashes between cultural identities and human desires are the ultimate source of misery; ready to give up everything and anything, humans follow their desires, subliminally melting the sentimental and supernatural bonds that tie them to their “homeland”. In W.B. Yeats’s poem, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, the author discusses the significance of identity while being in a state of emotional distortion on the meaning of “home”. The hypocrisy of war was explicitly stated in this poem, rebutting those who believe that war is nothing but a mere patriotic burst-out. Yeats’s subconscious realization of time passage is greatly emphasized in the music of the poem, for he “foresees his death”. The iambic tetrameter was Yeats’ tool in generating the sound of a throbbing heart, gasping for a few, counted moments to finish the poem.

The poem starts off by “I know that I shall meet my fate” which employs a sense of resignation to fate – or death –, for it is the ultimate fate of all humanity. The author then immediately links the urging feeling of death to war, specifically World War I. Yeats portrays a soldier in a typical war situation, fighting for the “good” of the country he belongs to and love, but neither does he love his country nor does he feel emotionally connected to it, for the country referred to was Great Britain, the colonizers of Ireland at that time. According to Yeats, “Those that I fight I do not hate, those that I guard I do not love”. This exposes the hypocrisy of war, and the lack of noble purpose in war. Wars are like flames of fire, ignited upon the silliest of all human desires; money! Yeats was the first to explicitly state such a devastating fact; wars are not a result of defensive patriotism, but a result of human corruption and the fragility of humans in facing their demons, money and dominance. Yeats took advantage of a musical rhythm that imitates that beating of a lonely human heart, full of oxygenated blood and human emotions, on its deathbed, prophesying an imminent end.

Yeats make yet another statement about wars, which is the absurd meaning of war for him –an existential impulse–, for it does not benefit his countrymen in any way, neither in a materialistic nor spiritualistic...

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