Aftermath CEA

July 25, 2018 General Studies

In Aftermath, Henry Longfellow describes the devastation of war upon the country by using natural images to depict the before and after effects of war but having nature living on. In the opening stanza, the repetition of the “W” in every line would convey to a sense of woe and mourning, it is never ending; a crying and weeping nation. Longfellow then symbolizes birds that are “fledged and flown”(2) to represent the idea of young boys in their quest to get ready for war. “Fledged and flown” indicates a time of growth and going.

As if there was no time to enjoy the in-between. It is just a beginning and end, just as the lives of men. The middle of their life did not matter since war would destroy all of it. He then uses the image of the “cawing of the crow” (5) to present to his readers Death that is coming. The superstition of a cawing of a crow says that death is near, which Longfellow uses to say that war is not a necessity but devastation to our country.

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During the second stanza, the use of only one pronoun of “ours” (9) would demonstrate the fading of humans on this earth and or in this country. The war has taken the lives of many young men not leaving any left but only leaving nature to take its place. Which is shown when the “poppy drops its seeds” (12), the personification of a bomb as a poppy’s seed reveals the power of nature that is taking place just as the human lives are being taken away. When war is takng place all around us, Longfellow shows us that while the lives of humans are being taken, nature wages on; eventually filling the humans place.


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