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War And Memory In Irene Zabytko'S "Home Soil", Bruce Weigl'S "Song Of Napalm", And Wilfred Owen'S "Dulce Et Decorum Est"

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Bullets flying through the air right over me, my knees are shaking, and my feet are numb. I see familiar faces all around me dodging the explosives illuminating the air like lightning. Unfortunately, numerous familiar faces seem to disappear into the trenches. I try to run from the noise, but my mind keeps causing me to re-illustrate the painful memories left behind.

The three narratives "Home Soil" by Irene Zabytko, "Song of Napalm" by Bruce Weigl, and "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen all have the same feelings of war and memory, although not everyone experiences the same war. Zabytko, Weigl, and Owen used shifting beats, dramatic descriptions, and intense, painful images, to convince us that the horror of war far outweighs the devoted awareness of those who fantasize war and the memories that support it.

In the story "Home Soil" by Irene Zabytko, the reader is enlightened about a boy who was mentally and emotionally drained from the horrifying experiences of war. The father in the story knows exactly what the boy is going through, but he cannot help him, because everyone encounters his or her own recollection of war. "When their faces are contorted from sucking the cigarette, there is an unmistakable shadow of vulnerability and fear of living. That gesture and stance are more eloquent than the blood and guts war stories men spew over their beers" (Zabytko 492). The father, as a young man, was forced to reenact some of the same obligations, yet the father has learned to let go of the past, while the son is still caught in the presents of the war. The son's memories of the war seem to overpower his ability to interact socially with family and friends. The father can only hope and pray that his son will one day regain the emotional stability that he used to have before the affects of Vietnam.

In the poem "Song of Napalm," it is a straight narrative of what it is like to live with memories from such a horrible war. "Song of Napalm" follows a Viet Nam soldiers' memories of a scene he once saw. His mind tries to distort the image of a girl getting bombed and burning in front of his eyes into a pleasant scene. The effort to make the scene pleasurable is the mind's way of trying to protect itself from the horrific incident that actually happened.

I was sane enough to pause and breathe

Outside my wild plans and after the hard rain

I turned my back on the old curses, I believed

They swung finally away from me... (17-20 page 1154).

Weigl is trying to shelter his mind from the unbearable effects of war. But in the end, he cannot maintain the self-deception, and must face the cold, hard truth.

The irony in the poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" is that it is not sweet and fitting to die for one's country when you have actually experienced

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