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    Before going off to fight in the war, “war” was a matter of pride for John Brown. On the day he was leaving, he “stood straight and tall in his uniform and all.” But once he faced the cruelties of the war, he realized that it was not the enemy whom he was trying to kill but another human being. He uRead more

    Before going off to fight in the war, “war” was a matter of pride for John Brown. On the day he was leaving, he “stood straight and tall in his uniform and all.” But once he faced the cruelties of the war, he realized that it was not the enemy whom he was trying to kill but another human being. He understood that soldiers are puppets in a war, killing each other or die trying. The barbaric nature of the war affected John Brown both physically and mentally.

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    In the first stanza of the poem, preparations for John Brown going to the war were being talked about. John Brown was off to fight in a war “on a foreign shore.” His mother was very proud to see his son “straight and tall in his uniform and all.” Read summary of John Brown

    In the first stanza of the poem, preparations for John Brown going to the war were being talked about. John Brown was off to fight in a war “on a foreign shore.” His mother was very proud to see his son “straight and tall in his uniform and all.”

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    John Brown’s mother couldn’t recognize his own son, once he came back, because John Brown’s face was all shot up and his hand was all blown off. He wore a metal brace around his waist to support himself and even “whispered kind of slow, in a voice she did not know.” He was beyond recognizable in hisRead more

    John Brown’s mother couldn’t recognize his own son, once he came back, because John Brown’s face was all shot up and his hand was all blown off. He wore a metal brace around his waist to support himself and even “whispered kind of slow, in a voice she did not know.” He was beyond recognizable in his dilapidated stature.

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    Following literary devices have been used in the poem, “John Brown”:- 1. Alliteration:- it is the occurrence of of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. In this poem it is seen when the poet says “…to fight in a foreign shore” or “He stood straight.” 2. ReRead more

    Following literary devices have been used in the poem, “John Brown”:-

    1. Alliteration:- it is the occurrence of of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. In this poem it is seen when the poet says “…to fight in a foreign shore” or “He stood straight.”

    2. Repetition:- it is used to repeat the same words or phrases to emphasize an idea. For example, “Oh, lord, not even recognize his face!”

    3. Irony:- it is the expression of one’s language that normally signifies the opposite meaning. Irony is prevalent throughout the poem. It is ironical to see John Brown’s mom glorifying war when she was sending her son their, with no notion of whether she was going to see her son again or not.

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    The poetic device used in the last stanza, when he dropped his medals down into her hand, is irony. His mother’s desire was the medals which her son will attain after he comes back from the war. She never feared about her son as whether he will come back alive or not but hoped for the medals. So itRead more

    The poetic device used in the last stanza, when he dropped his medals down into her hand, is irony. His mother’s desire was the medals which her son will attain after he comes back from the war. She never feared about her son as whether he will come back alive or not but hoped for the medals. So it is indeed ironical when John Brown, who came back from the war barely alive, made sure to put the medal, which his mother desired, into her hand.

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  1. “John Brown” written  by Bob Dylan is an anti-war poem. The poem starts with the protagonist, John Brown getting ready to go to war “on a foreign shore.” His mother is feeling very proud to see her son “straight and tall in his uniform and all.” She says to John Brown that it prides her to know thatRead more

    “John Brown” written  by Bob Dylan is an anti-war poem. The poem starts with the protagonist, John Brown getting ready to go to war “on a foreign shore.” His mother is feeling very proud to see her son “straight and tall in his uniform and all.” She says to John Brown that it prides her to know that her son will hold a gun and fight valiantly in the war. She tells him to obey all order of the captains as that way he will get “lots of medals.” John Brown’s train pulls out and his mother shouts to everyone to let them know that his son is off to the war. Occasionally she gets a letter from her son and “her face broke into a smile.” But then the letters stopped coming for “ten months or more.” One day, John Brown’s mother receives a letter telling that her son is coming home from the war. Excited, she goes down to the station to meet her son but once she sees him, she is unable to recognize her own child. John Brown’s face is all shot up and he whispered in a voice which is not known to his mother. When his mother inquires about his whereabouts, John Brown explicitly explains the horrors of the war. He tells his mother that she wasn’t standing in his shoes fighting another human being. She was sitting at home, acting proud and waiting for the medals. At the end, when John Brown turns to walk, he brings his mother close and drops the desired medals of his mother into her hands.

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    In the poem, “John Brown”, the protagonist goes off to fight in a war on a foreign shore. Read summary of John Brown

    In the poem, “John Brown”, the protagonist goes off to fight in a war on a foreign shore.

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  1. John Brown’s mother glorifies war. She is under the impression that war is nothing but “lots of medals” which can be put up on the wall to boast. She is ignorant of the horrors of the war and the physical and emotional exhaustion the soldiers undergo. So when her son is getting ready to go off to thRead more

    John Brown’s mother glorifies war. She is under the impression that war is nothing but “lots of medals” which can be put up on the wall to boast. She is ignorant of the horrors of the war and the physical and emotional exhaustion the soldiers undergo. So when her son is getting ready to go off to the war, all she worries about is the medal and not whether her son is going to come back alive. At the end, her son, barely alive, makes sure to put the desired medals into his mother’s hand as he knew that all his mother wanted was the glorified medals.

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  1. John Brown is the protagonist of the poem, “John Brown” written by Bob Dylan.  John Brown, initially, is very proud of the fact that he is going to fight for the nation and make his mother proud. But his idea of war changes once he takes active participation in it. He undergoes what most soldiers faRead more

    John Brown is the protagonist of the poem, “John Brown” written by Bob Dylan.  John Brown, initially, is very proud of the fact that he is going to fight for the nation and make his mother proud. But his idea of war changes once he takes active participation in it. He undergoes what most soldiers face- mental and physical trauma. He realizes that all the time he is fighting in the war, he is just trying to kill another human being like him or die trying. John Brown is sensitive to the fact that war is not just about medals but a lot of hardship and sacrifice. It is not the solution to peace. He undergoes a lot of harm in the war, coming home barely alive. He knows the glorification of war done by his mother and others is wrong as war has no objective.

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    The poem vividly depicts the contrast between fancy and reality. Through the portrayal of John Brown’s mother, glorification of war is portrayed. His mother thinks fighting in a war is the best thing through which a son can make a mother proud. She thinks it’s all about “a lot of medals” which can bRead more

    The poem vividly depicts the contrast between fancy and reality. Through the portrayal of John Brown’s mother, glorification of war is portrayed. His mother thinks fighting in a war is the best thing through which a son can make a mother proud. She thinks it’s all about “a lot of medals” which can be put up on a wall. She is ignorant of the reality. She is unaware of the mental and physical trauma the soldiers undergo due to war. The gap between fancy and reality starts when the speaker says in the poem “Then the letters ceased to come.” This shows how different and distant reality is from fancy. John Brown’s mother is unable to recognize her own son, whom she once praises as “straight and tall in his uniform and all”, when he returns from the war. She is unable to believe the casualties of war can be so drastic that she is unable to recognize her own child only. Through the poem, Bob Dylan strengthens the bridge between reality and fancy by showing those who glorify war are the ones who are ignorant of the reality.

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