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Word Count: 1,128
The Sounds of War When a country is at war it is the common people who suffer In Walt Whitmans poem Beat Beat Drums the speaker signifies the sounds of war The speaker listening to the banging of war drums and shrill sounds of bugles relates the interruption these war sounds have on the harmony of peoples lives Whitman uses the sounds of drums as an audible image to show its effects on the common people Whitman uses two types of imagery to express the cold indirect and direct effects of war Whitman using the loud banging of drums and the blows of bugles creates a war atmosphere throughout the whole poem He brings in the sounds of war at the beginning and end of every section to ensure the reader has a feeling that the drums are never ending For example Whitman starts the first section with Beat beat drums blow bugles blow and ends the first section with a feeling that the drums are only getting louder So fierce you whirr and pound you drums so shrill you bugles blow Whitman writes of how the war is felt on two different levels one as a community and the other as personal Using imagery the sounds travel through the windows-through doors-burst like a ruthless force as if the drums and bugles are shattering through the homes of the common people In the first section Whitman shows of how the sounds of war effect the personal lives of the common people Whitman uses imagery to show how the drums and bugles interrupt everyday life This is evident in the lines Into the solemn church and scatter the congregation Into the school where the scholar is studying Leave not the bridegroom quiet-no happiness must he have with his bride Nor the peaceful farmer any peace ploughing his field or gathering his grain These four lines expressed by Whitman have an underlying meaning in each image he
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