The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

Read Randall Jarrell, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner.” Submit your responses to the following questions:

1. Who is the speaker? To what does he compare himself in the poem’s first two lines? What words establish this comparison?

2. Contrast the speaker’s actual identity with the one he creates for himself in lines 1–2. What elements of his actual situation do you think lead him to characterize himself as he does in these lines?

3. Both this poem and “Dulce et Decorum Est” (p. 492) use figures of speech to describe the horrors of war. Which poem has a greater impact on you?


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