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Gunns The Reassurance and Owens Futility are thematically apt for comparison as they both focus on death They will be interesting to compare regarding the causes of death- AIDS and war- being natural or man-made Structurally the poems are similar on the page both being split up into stanzas Their different uses of rhyming techniques are also useful areas for comparison and contrast one poet choosing half instead of full-rhyme and the changing the position of the rhymes in each stanza The reasons for this become evident when analysing the poems in-depth The Reassurance is about the death of someone the narrator knew from AIDS It describes this person as kind to move away from the stereotypical view of AIDS sufferers being unclean or taboo This persons ghost has come back in a dream to reassure the narrator although the narrator admits that his mind constructed the dream to protect him Owens Futility is about a soldier who has died He has been laid in the sun to try and revive him but all attempts to save him are futile The narrator considers the point of life on Earth if it is so fragile and seemingly pointless Not surprisingly and implied by its title Futility has a tone of helplessness and a resulting resentment and confusion We can infer this tone of resentment by Owens use of phrases such as -Oh what made fatuous sunbeams toil To break earths sleep at all Owen Futility Here Owen is considering if trying to live is so futile why the sun created life on earth at all Does life have any purpose or meaning other then eventual death The tone of Gunns The Reassurance is one of remembrance and understanding of both the situation and his own minds protection We can infer the tone of Gunns poem from statements within it such as And yes how like my mind To make itself secure Here he is showing understanding
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