Wednesday, February 11, 2009
a double meaning...or not?
I apologize in advance if someone has touched on this already, but I haven't read all the posts yet, because, unfortunately, all my other classes are of the "slack-slack-slack-CRAM" variety, and tonight is just one of those nights. The other day in class, when we were comparing the two readings of the boys i mean I was struck with an interesting thought. (btw I think in lightning bolts.) In the war, cannon type reading, the boys he means are not refined. Perhaps the poem is a comment on the fact that war is barbaric and animalistic. War heros are really admired and honored, (I'm going to touch back on this in a minute.) However, the reading that a lot of us got (myself included) about the boys without inhibitions doing these sort of barbaric, animalistic sex drives and then the last line suggests that the speaker secretly envies them. So, with either reading you get this adoration of people who throw social norms to the wind and partake in these 'returning to our roots as animals' type acts. If you compare the two readings, and the interpretation of the last line about secret envy, the last line in the sex reading hints at admirations. Carrying that over to the war reading, could it ee cummings maybe be making a statement on the way we glorify war heros? We celebrate them for...killing lots of people? Then I get to the part where I remember that many if not most war heros get recognized for truly commendable things like risking their life for their comrades and such, and my whole theory falls apart. I feel like when I think about it some more there might be some common theme running through both readings of the poem. This wasn't what I set out to write, it was more like ideas as they came and died.