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Analysis of Randall Jarrell's The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

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Analysis of Randall Jarrell's The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

Many of the great poems we read today were written in times of great distress. One of these writers was Randall Jarrell. After being born on May 6, 1914, in Nashville Tennessee, Jarrell and his parents moved to Los Angeles where his dad worked as a photographer. When Mr. and Mrs. Jarrell divorced, Randall and his younger brother returned to Nashville to live with their mother. While in Nashville, Randall attended Hume-Frogg high school. Randall showed his love for the arts while in high school by participating in dramatics and journalism. Jarrell continued his career in the arts when he wrote and edited for Vanderbilt’s humor magazine, The Vanderbilt Masquerader. After
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Jarrell uses a great deal of imagery in this poem to help the reader get a better picture of what is going on. In the first line of the poem Jarrell uses visual, auditory and tactile imagery. When he uses the words, “mother’s sleep,” the reader can see the mother laying in her bed sound asleep. Also the reader can hear the deep breaths that the mother is taking while she slumbers. The reader gets the tactile image when the author says, “I fell,” because almost everyone has experienced the falling sensation before. Since the word, “State,” is capitalized one can see that Jarrell is talking about some form of government. The reader gets the visual image of a government sitting around planning something big. In the second line of the poem, “And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze,” the reader gets visual, tactile and thermal imagery. First of all the reader can see a person hunched, with his knees almost at his chest, in the belly of something. Also the reader can see a person with a fur coat that is almost covered in ice. The thermal imagery comes in when Jarrell says the word, “froze.” The reader can feel the cold coming from the frozen jacket as he reads the poem. When Jarrell says the words, “hunched in the belly,” the reader gets a very uncomfortable feeling. In line number three the reader gets visual imagery as well as slight tactile imagery. The visual imagery comes
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