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Essays Refugee Blues By Wh

Refugee Blues’ by Auden and ‘The Last Night’ Essay

1917 Words8 Pages

In both texts, a key concept is implemented: ‘Despair.’ Despair is presented in both poems through the oppression of the Jewish People; in both poems they manage to create a feeling of alienation in conjunction with isolation through manipulating their imagery and tone. ‘Refugee Blues’ is rooted in the 1930′s pre-second world war, when the Jewish communities were being punished for countless mistakes they had not even made. If we break down the title of both texts we can already begin to interpret the different tones, as well as emotions that will be in the pieces. ‘Refugee’ comes from the word refuge, which means safety, safety for the people who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural…show more content…

In both texts, a key concept is implemented: ‘Despair.’ Despair is presented in both poems through the oppression of the Jewish People; in both poems they manage to create a feeling of alienation in conjunction with isolation through manipulating their imagery and tone. ‘Refugee Blues’ is rooted in the 1930′s pre-second world war, when the Jewish communities were being punished for countless mistakes they had not even made. If we break down the title of both texts we can already begin to interpret the different tones, as well as emotions that will be in the pieces. ‘Refugee’ comes from the word refuge, which means safety, safety for the people who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. It is almost ironic how Auden uses this as his title as the Jews were anything but ‘Safe.’ ‘Blues’ is a music genre; typically it offers a slow, calm rhythm yet creates an uplifting vibe. Developed by the African-American communities, originating in the 19th century, around the ‘Deep South’ of the United States. Furthermore, in ‘The Last Night’ is set in France during World War Two, when the Nazis occupied and controlled France. If we begin to break down ‘The Last Night,’ we can immediately pick up yet again that the poem is going to involve death, or the end of someone/something. If we look at the second line of the poem, ‘deportees might write a final message,’ the word ‘final’ already gives us a clue that this may be the deportees

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Refugee Blues Essay

1013 WordsJan 18th, 20135 Pages

Refugee Blues W. H. Auden’s poem of despair, misery, and isolation, “Refugee Blues”, describes the hardships faced by two German Jewish refugees attempting to escape Hitler’s Germany. Published in autumn, 1939, Auden is surrounded by the anti-Sematic hatred that is growing in Germany six months prior to the outbreak of World War II. Auden utilizes this environment and the experiences of German Jews to express the abuse of human rights and the sentiments of refugees. For the near two thousand years that the Jewish people have lived in Europe, they have constantly battled anti-Semitism, having to defend themselves, physically and emotionally, time and time again. In 1920, Jewish people encountered anti-Semitism from the Nationalist…show more content…

Stanza seven focuses on Hitler’s horrific regime, expressed metaphorically. His command for all Jews to be killed is personified as the rumbling of thunder that can be heard just before lightning strikes, and the world descends into the chaos of a political storm. The last stanza of the poem describes Jewish people being hunted, either by death squads or by soldiers looking to put them into labor camps. Throughout the poem, Auden uses contrast to demonstrate the struggle of the inequality of Jewish people. He juxtaposes Jewish people with animals, displaying the disdainful perception of German Jewish refugees through the lines, “Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin. Saw a door opened and a cat let in, but they weren’t German Jews my dear” (22-23). The speaker reflects that cats were welcomed into open doors, yet they were not. Additionally, the refugee speaks of how he, “Saw the fish swimming as if they were free” (26), and how the fish in the quay are free, yet they were not. Auden shows that animals were treated with more compassion than Jewish refugees. Also, Auden considers one of the most prominent contrasting parts of the poem – the Jews’ condition of hanging between legal and biological death. The legal death that Auden refers to is depicted throughout the poem; describing loss of home (3), country (4), and documentation. In the fourth stanza he describes a consul, violently

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