Naming Of Parts Essay

829 WordsApr 7, 20094 Pages
Within Henry Reed’s poem “Naming of Parts” there lies a clear contrast between war and nature. The poem contains two different characters which exemplify the many qualities of this contrast. The first is a war instructor, and the second, a soldier listening to the instructor’s lesson. The instructor names the parts of a gun used in war, and the soldier attempts to listen while his mind wanders off, immersed in the nature surrounding him. Through these two speakers, opposing viewpoints and thoughts concerning war are revealed. The poem utilizes two different speakers within each stanza, which is made obvious by the distinct language and word choice. The first speaker is a war instructor of some type. He is explaining, in a classroom setting, the different parts of a gun and the names of each part. The second speaker is a student listening to the instructor. He seems to be a soldier or cadet in training. The sudden shift in speakers can easily be perceived in each stanza throughout the entire poem. In the first stanza, the first three lines demonstrate a commanding tone towards the students. The speaker is straightforward by simply stating the facts with short commands such as, “ Today we have naming of parts,” and “Tomorrow morning, We shall have what to do after firing.” This indicates that this is an authority figure addressing those below him. In the fourth and fifth line, the voice changes to describing nature and the soldier’s surroundings. This serves as an introduction to the second speaker, the soldier in training. This speaker’s language is less structured and more casual. His speech lacks a strict pattern and utilizes sensual adjectives to describe the beauty of the nature surrounding him. These speakers differ not only in the way they choose to speak and present their words, but in their thoughts as well. The great difference between the teacher and
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