Closely analyze McCrae's "In Flanders Fields." Questions to consider: Who is the speaker of this poem and to whom is the poem addressed? What is the speaker's message? How does the mood of the first two stanzas differ from the mood in the third? Is this a pro-war poem? If so, why? If not, why not?
The narrator of "In Flanders Fields" seems to be the dead soldiers of World War I as indicated in the second stanza when the narrator declares "We are the Dead" (line 6). In the poem, the narrator is explaining what has been left after all the dead bodies have been removed. The birds who sang in Flanders Fields before the war continue to do so today despite the violence and bloodshed which has happened there. For the natural world, the thing is unchanged. So too, human beings have moved on from Flanders Field and the First World War. The dead who had been alive and had hopes and had been loved are now dead and buried and their heroism all but forgotten. This is the initial emotion from the poem, a sense of sadness at this reality. This alters in the third stanza and instead of a somewhat resigned and haunting echo of the dead; it takes on more of an attitude of anger, as though the dead are challenging the living. The dead asks that the living "take up our quarrel with the foe" (line 10). Indeed the narrator threatens to haunt the living people if they don't. As far as being pro-or against war it is hard to say. There is definitely something in the first two