Horses by Edwin Muir Essay

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The Horses By: Edwin Muir I chose this poem because it is a poem, which contains a strong theme. The poem is about the aftermath of a war in which all technology and means of communication have failed the survivors. This forces everyone to resort to a more old-fashioned and basic way of life. This is brought about by the arrival of the horses. The main theme of this poem focuses on both failed and successful references to communication and technology. Edwin Muir composed ‘The Horses’ after he had survived both world wars, where he had lost his family within a short space of time. During the Second World War there was an atomic disaster in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which is situated in Japan, this brought the issue of nuclear war and development into the public. Muir believed that there would be another world war, which would bring about the end of the world. The advancement in technology which helped make the atomic bomb a reality almost certainly had a profound effect upon Muir’s work and its effect on the poem ‘The Horses’. The theme of communication and technology would have been very relevant topic at the time of the poems composition and one, which is still important in today’s society. In Muir’s poem ‘The Horses’ he conveys the theme of communication through effective word choice. At the beginning of the poem man is described as having made a “covenant with silence”, the silence represents a lack of sound or noise which then demonstrates a lack of communication. The word covenant literally means an agreement, this means that man has made his agreement to remain silent implying they will not return to the pasts communication methods. This conveys the theme of communication, in particular the loss of communication, as man is silent and refusing to communicate via technology of the old world that they hold accountable for the war. The theme of communication

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