Poet’s Use Of Mockery As Diction In Poem Essay, Research Paper

Poet’s Use of Mockery As Diction in Poem

Tom Dinkel

The poet’s use of mockery as diction conveys his disillusioned attitude

toward the men that plan the battles without actually fighting in them. Using

the words ?If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,? to describe the

majors allows the reader to picture the majors as old, fat, out of shape men

that spend their days ?guzzling and gulping in the best hotel? safe from any

danger. Fierce, bald and short of breath give the reader a negative feel for

the majors as they are not described in any positive manner. These terms cause

the reader to feel disgust for the majors. The poets use of the words guzzling

and gulping with their alliterative effect cause the reader to consider the

majors as gluttons gathered at the table. When the reader completes his mental

picture of the majors in the best hotel, the imagery of glory hogs is complete.

The poet’s diction choice,

“Reading the Roll of Honor. `Poor young chap, ‘ I’d say – ` I used to

know his father well; Yes, we’ve lost heavily in this last scrap.’ ” of casual

language attempts to make the war seem carefree and nonchalant. The word “chap”

conveys an casual attitude towards the heroes as people. It seems to elevate

the status of the majors to a false superior position. “Scrap” makes it seems as

if the soldier’s death occurred on a playground, not a battlefield. It seems to

trivialize war in general.

“And when the war is done and the youth stone dead,

I’d toddle safely home and die – in bed.”

The poet’s last lines give the reader an insight into the true wishes of the

soldier. The youth stone dead allow the reader to acknowledge the finality of

death and the wasted lives of the young soldiers while the old, fat men are

allowed the luxury of living to old age and then dying in their own beds.

“Toddle” is a word that not only describes the gait of the fat, old men but also

the irony of the youth stone dead and the fat, old men waddling home. Through

his use of mocking diction, the poet conveys his disgusted attitude towards the

toddling old men dying in their beds while the good die young.

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