Comparing the attitude towards terroism in out of the blue and the right word

1057 WordsApr 2, 20145 Pages
Comparing the attitudes towards terrorism in ‘Out of the Blue’ (Simon Armitage) and ‘The Right Word’ (Imtiaz Dharker) The use of dramatic monologue allows Armitage to explore the thoughts and feelings of a victim of conflict. This extract comes from a much longer poem called ‘Out of the Blue’, commissioned by Channel 5 for the fifth anniversary of the bombing of the Twin Towers in 2001. The powerful TV images of the planes flying into the buildings, the subsequent fires and the collapse of the Towers captured the events, as they happened, for a stunned and horrified worldwide audience. Nearly 3000 people died in the attack, 67 of which were British. The title describes the perfectly blue skies of September 11th 2001, and the absolute…show more content…
What has caused this? Why does mankind behave like this? What is our own role and response to this? Has conflict become a media spectacle for entertainment? However, In ‘The Right Word’ Imtiaz Dharker (1954−) uses the subtleties and connotations of language to explore perceptions and values, and challenge how we see and define our world. Born in Pakistan, Dharker was brought up in Glasgow and now lives in London, Wales and India. As such she belongs to many communities and has been said to see things from an outsider’s perspective. The poem, published in 2006, is one of ideas; it calls to mind Peter Ustinov’s aphorism: ‘Terrorism is the war of the poor and war is the terrorism of the rich’. Dharker’s poem explores the meaning and value of the labels we conveniently give to things, and reflects on the nature of writing and communication. The irony of the title is that there is no ‘right word’ and the poem considers the power of language to represent and even cause conflict by defining people and positions by our terms rather than understanding their views. As such it is ideological conflict as much as physical conflict, with competing parties holding different interpretations of the same event. Beginning with the word ‘terrorist’, a very loaded term in today’s world and the word she wishes to analyse – Dharker offers a number of alternatives to undermine glib assumptions that this might be ‘the right word’, or indeed the only word

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