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Word Count: 1,330
All work of fiction contains some degree of social commentary analysis or perspective Most authors cleverly disguise this commentary without being didactic through the use of metaphors and leave it up to the reader to uncover their observations More so than fiction poetry is almost entirely metaphor WH Auden uses metaphor and motif in all of his poems to effectively convey his ideas In particular his poem August 1968 though brief offers a scathing commentary on the events of the day During August 1968 the United States was embroiled in a conflict in Vietnam Many people within the United States were highly critical of the involvement and people over seas were even more adamant in this belief WH Auden seems to be no different in his criticism of the Vietnam War The poem reads The Ogre does what ogres can Deeds quite impossible for Man But one prize is beyond reach The Ogre cannot master Speech About a subjugated plain Among its desperate and slain The Ogre stalks with hands on hips While drivel gushes from his lips Without a doubt the Ogre in the poem is United States government Ogres generally have a connotation of being large brutish destructive creatures Indeed the United States is a rather large force in the realm of world politics and in the matter of military might Furthermore the brutal destructive undertaking in Vietnam was disorganized and in retrospect lacked any defined purpose One only has to think of a character like Godzilla which used its size to create a large indiscriminate path of destruction Godzilla seemingly destroyed without purpose Auden states that the Ogre does what ogres can If the Ogre is the United States then the ogres are the nations of the world What ogres do is wage war With few exceptions every nation wages war for one reason or another and at times it seems as if war is waged for wars sake Here Auden is
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