Kamikaze Beatrice Garland AO3 Context (who, what, why) What is Garlands message about conflict? conflict is personal as well as national AO3 Context (who, what, why) This poem is about Kamikaze pilots. During WW2, they were used as a Japanese war tactic whereby a pilot had a suicide mission to plummet their plane into a target. Kamikaze pilots were usually below the age of 24 and had on average 40 hours of training. The Japanese culture is CRUCIAL to this poem as HONOUR is the backbone of its culture. To lose honour is to lose everything. Garland explores the power of Japanese honour in WW2 over young soldiers and how they were almost brainwashed into being Kamikaze pilots. AO3 Timing of the poem and conflict This poem comes from Garlands collection of poems called The Invention of Fireworks published in 2013. Conflict in 2013:
-Syria -Afghanistan -Iraq -Iran -Pakistan There is some irony in this poem being written at a time when The United States was involved in a lot of conflict as Japan had a conflict with the West and in particular the United States of America. Viewing this as a poem of power and conflict Power of culture Garland encourages you to consider how manipulative culture can be. Honour forced Japanese young men to commit suicide. Power of Nature Power of place/memory
The conflict between him and honour The conflict between his family and himself Natural imagery dominates the poem. Garland creates positive images of nature to show how powerful its beauty is. It is the nature that encourages him to change his mind. Remembering his childhood with his brothers influences him to change his mind. It is home that also pulls him
back. He experiences an inner conflict: do I kill myself for my honour and culture or do I go home to give my children a father. The poem also explores how his family reject him and go against him. AO2- Structure and Form 7 regular stanzas (every stanza has the same amount of line) -the strict control of the Japanese military over him -how he was trying to be controlled and live up to the expectation of a strong and determined
Kamikaze pilot Enjambment -the out of control nature of a Kamikaze flight -again the chaos shows how he is defying the tradition/expectation -the enjambment is at moments when the memory is powerful Free verse (no rhyme scheme) -seriousness of the topic -chaos of his mind -freedom- he is going against the expectation to die Verb sounds adventurous and starts the poem in a positive tone much like how the soldier will have been made to feel about it. Adjective shaven stripped of identity shows the power of the military
influencing young men. Also links to how he is sharp now like the blackthorns in Poppies. Her father embarked at sunrise with a flask of water, a samurai sword in the cockpit, a shaven head full of powerful incantations and enough fuel for a one-way journey into history Incantations charms, chants. Power of military over young soldiers minds. Metaphor that he will make a journey into Japanese history books. Structurally why is this on its own? So he can separate himself from thinking about it being oneway? Fronted disjunction shifts the tonemoment he feels doubt/regret.
Shows how he looks at the normality of life below him. Adjective little carries happy connotations he is considering the happiness below him. Embedded clause adds a new layer- we learn its from daughters perspective. Why does she think does she not know properly? Did her father never tell her the exact details? But half way there, she thought, recounting it later to her children, he must have looked far down Simile compares the boats at the little fishing boats to bunting. He is thinking strung out like bunting about how he will be on a green-blue translucent sea celebrated for dying. Calming colours green-blue translucent sea clear, it is the clear sea that makes him see clearly to the craziness of his decision. POWER OF NATURE!
Repeated imagery of patriotic celebratingPOWER OF CULTURE/HONOUR stamped on his mind. Shoals are groups of fish the verb flashing could reflect how he is being blinded by natures beauty. and beneath them, arcing in swathes, like a huge flag waved first one way then the other in a figure of eight, Garland uses sibilance here. the dark shoals of fishes Why? flashing silver their bellies To reflect the sound of the plane? To reflect his swivelled towards the sun The fish are facing their bodies towards the sun. Is this a subtle message to
worship nature over man and war? breathlessness as he stares captivated by beauty? To create an unnerving sinister sound to remind the reader that he is about to die in the plane? AO2 PUNCTUATION ALERT! Garland DELIBERATELY takes away punctuation here when the pilot remembers being a young boy. Reflects how the memory is powerful over his thoughts. pearl-grey calming colours much like the blue-green. Garlands colours could show how he is wanting to escape the violent panic in the plane and he is being drawn into ideas of peace. and remembered how he and his brothers waiting on the shore
built cairns of pearl-grey pebbles to see whose withstood longest the turbulent inrush of breakers bringing their fathers boat safe turbulent to reflect pace of the plane journey. Foreboding feeling. End the stanza with the idea that his father came home safe. He wants his children to see him home safe. Garland deliberately uses adjectives that together carry connotations of lightness, happiness, peace. The soldier remembers his fathers normal routine of fishing and it brings him happinessencouraging him to go back.
Repeated end word of safe like he is convincing himself to go home to safety. He wants to make sure he is safe for his children. CONFLICT OF FAMILY/WAR -yes, grandfathers boat-safe to the shore, salt-sodden, awash with cloud-marked mackerel, black crabs, feathery prawns, the loose silver of whitebait and once, a tuna, the dark prince, muscular, dangerous. Metaphor the dark prince regal connotations like nature should be worshipped. dark is quite frightening shows the power of the tuna. Third person pronouns he and his distances herself from her father to reflect the shame she had. Enjambment onto and the neighbours too shows how far the embarrassment went, it was ongoing and nonstop. And though he came back my mother never spoke again
in his presence, nor did she meet his eyes and the neighbours too, they treated him as though he no longer existed, only we children still chattered and laughed Has Garland added about the children not caring to show how their innocence was correct. Could be a message against war? Powerful, emotive part of the poem. The power of culture: it made his family remove him from their lives. we too learned suggests they were forced by their culture to reject their own father. to be silent is literally followed by a small silence with the comma. Is there a pause to show how the daughter feels some regret for it? we loved past tense verb
saddening that she had to forget him. Till gradually we too learned To be silent, to live as though he had never returned, that this was no longer the father we loved. And sometimes, she said, he must have wondered which had been the better way to die. Final line shows how his ongoing conflict never ended. It was probably better for him to have died in that plane than come home to a family who considered him dead for rejecting honour. When the poem had moments which lacked punctuation why did Garland make sure to have a full stop. His life was over?
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