The poem John Brown is a bridge between fancy and reality. Discuss

The poem John Brown is a bridge between fancy and reality. Discuss

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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 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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