Falling Into the State and Awaking to Die: Randall Jarrell's "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner"
After reading and annotating Jarrell's poem, The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner," please consider the following question:
What does the imagery of the last line suggest about the speaker's attitude toward death?
Please post your response here, using your assigned Student Number (contact me if you forget it). Your response should:
1. use the poems' title and author's name
2. answer the prompt
3. use a properly cited quote from the poem to support your ideas (hint: better quotes aren't just the last line)
4. be between 100-150 words (hint: type response on Word Doc and the Copy/Paste into submission box)
This blog response is due by 11:59 pm tonight.
3/4/2014 03:36:24 am
In the poem, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner,” by Randall Jarrell shows how hard and sad to be in the army, specifically the use of the ball turret. To be a ball turret gunner is a hard task. From the poem, a ball turret gunner dies during his time of duty in the ball turret. The imagery of the last line, “When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose,” suggests the speaker’s sadness about his death, and how invaluable his body meant. He being washed out of the ball turret with hose shows that he was exploded leaving pieces of his body parts with blood all over. According to the short poem, the fourth line “I woke to the black flak and the nightmare fighters,” (line 4) tells us that he had engaged in the fight, shooting, and unfortunately he was attacked and shot by the fighters armed with firing explosive shells. In addition, he being washed out with hose shows that he would be replaced. The whole thing seemed how nobody cared or valued the lives of the ball turret gunners.
3/4/2014 05:51:02 am
In the poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” by Randall Jarrell talks about the transformation that people went through at war. The loss of innocence, lives, dreams, and hope in a single event called war. The author of this poem saw war as meaningless. All those men killed for nothing other than solving a problem that wasn’t their own. “When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.” (Jarrell line 5) is a powerful quote even though it might be blunt. It means that this young younger was just beginning to live his life, he had dreams for the future after the war but reality of war got in the way. His life had been very detailed full of hope yet in a few seconds he just died. His life meant nothing at war, he was replaceable. There was no time to grief, regret, nor gather his remains. Everything he did up to that point was worthless because he was dead and a war was happening that gave no space to grief over someone that they could replace so easily.
3/4/2014 09:32:45 am
The imagery of the last line of Randall Jarrell's poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" suggests a lot about the speaker's attitude towards death. For example it seems as if he was expecting a more nobler death but it never occurred that way. He was probably expecting a noble death because like many young men at the time, they believed they were fighting for a noble cause for their governments. A quote from the poem to support this idea is "From my mother's sleep I fell into the state;" (Jarrell 1). The second part of this quote clearly shows that even though many of these men were drafted into military service, they served with honor. Therefore when the speaker dies, his attitude takes a different turn because his remains aren't really treated with the honor they deserve.
3/4/2014 10:05:23 am
In the poem, "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner", Randall Jarrell expresses his thoughts on youth fighting in war. The last line of this poem speaks volumes. “When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose” (Jarrell line 5). To put in so much detail in the previous lines and end it so abruptly just shows how the author felt about the job of the ball turret gunner and possibly about war in general. I believe the lack of imagery in the last line of the poem is the author’s way of suggesting the absence of concern that the military had for these young men who operated the ball turret, almost creating a “mirror effect".
3/4/2014 10:33:56 am
In the poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" (1945) by Randall Jarrell suggest that the authors attitude towards death is very straight and blunt. The last line is a great example of this which says , "when I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose" (1945) Jarrell. This line shows that the army can just recycle a ball turret gunner like he didn't just risk his life to be in the situation that he's in. Being a ball turret gunner is like signing your death wish right then and there , so for the gunner to just be washed away like dirt on a step is pretty devastating to imagine, and i think that's what type of imagery the speaker was trying to make here.
3/4/2014 10:40:40 am
In the short poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” by Randall Jarrell, shows the complicated task a person had to undergo during the time of war. Many took part in this serious event without knowing if they’ll ever make it through safely. “I woke to the black flak and the nightmare fighters” (Jarrell line 4), the person in the ball turret was ready to put on a fight but was unlucky to make it all the way through. The imagery of the last line makes it seem as if this person was not cared for. His body was just washed away as if no one bothered to grieve over a member that was lost. This shows how easily he’ll be replaced with someone new.
3/4/2014 11:36:21 am
In the poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" by Randall Jarrell there are many different forms of imagery. The poem shows how complicated it is for a person to be both physically and emotionally in the war. For example in the poem Randall Jarrell says "I woke to the black flak and nightmare fighters" (Jarrell line 5). You could tell that the person was asleep and seemed to be peaceful. They were dreaming and then being awoken to the 'nightmare' of the fighters leaves them in a state of shock.
3/4/2014 11:42:18 am
The last line of “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” by Randal Jarrell suggests a lot about his feelings toward death. It says that the soldier was expecting a memorable death, a more respected death. He wanted his remains to be treated with the respect he deserved, but instead he was washed out with a hose. It gave the impression that he was replaceable, almost recycled as if these men were mass-produced. In the first line of the poem it says “From my mother’s sleep I fell into the state” which can be interpreted as the states being the company that was mass-producing these government issued soldiers and if one breaks just replace him another one.
3/4/2014 12:22:37 pm
In the poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” by Randall Jarrell shows a lot about death in wars like World War 2. The imagery of the last line in the poem suggest about the speaker attitude towards death is kind of emotionless you have to be and the reality that you have to move on. In a War you really don’t have time to mourn or grieve over a death because you wouldn’t be in your right mind, and can easily make mistakes. Have to focus on the task at hand and it’s not going to be how you might have pictured what happening after you died. Not going to have the whole church people having time to mourn you as the wonderful person that you are. It’s sad but it kind of resembles how you had to be and show that grittiness and toughness showing no weakness. What kind of backs up what is trying to be said is “I woke to the black flak and the nightmare fighters”(line 4 Jarrell). Basically saying that he had to come to reality of what was happening it was his fate. Not how he might have pictured him dying but it was happening and nothing he could do about it. He died a soldiers death but there’s nothing wrong with that because he died fighting for his country and will always be remembered because of that.
3/4/2014 12:30:12 pm
At the end of the poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" by Rangall Jarrell, its so cold, simple, short (fast), i believe because they didn't care about someones death at that time, at least from a simple solder. They main object was to win the war and if that meant for keep going with solders deaths, so be it . They just wanted to keep going, another person who can defend their country, better than the one before. The end of the poem was short and simple because thats what they did to their actual body as well, they just washed the body off and thats it,"When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose" (line 5) not even a nice funeral, or something for their families, they just wanted the next person to fill his spot, because USA was in critical times (WAR).
3/4/2014 12:53:27 pm
In the poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" I believe the imagery that the last line gives about death is very straight to the point and vague for the reason that death is very straight to the point and vague. Death is something most people fear and don't look forward to because who wants to die yet. People don't really put in detail how they would describe death because nobody has gone through it yet. In his precious lines like "From my mothers sleep I fell into State" (Jarrell line 1) He was very detailed with meaning because that was the process he went through in his life. It had meaning and he struggled through it. But I'm the last line when it said they washed me out of the turret with a hose it didn't seem important because there is nothing left to do. They can't save him it's over. So I think the authors attitude torwards it is death is death it doesn't have to be detailed so he a straight forward careless attitude, because that's how they treated it.
3/4/2014 01:46:05 pm
In “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” by Randall Jarrell, imagery suggests many things about the speaker’s attitude towards death in the military. The speaker includes details such as washing the body remains out with a hose. You can infer that the military was careless when soldiers passed and just wanted to clean out the turret so they can finish fighting. They didn’t seem to grieve over a loss of one soldier. Joining the military can make your life fly by faster to death. In this poem, his life was almost like a short dream and was awoken by a nightmare.
3/4/2014 02:10:18 pm
In the poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner", By Randall Jarrell, the last sentence is basically just clear and to the point. He was just another soldier in the war fighting for the freedom and safety of others. Although his death was most likely a sad event the other people had to move on and continue with what was going outside of that. There was still fighting going on which made it so that the other soldiers would have to refrain from grieving for the gunner. The gunner had his life cut short and would never be able to experience the "dream of life" (Jarrell Line 3) or what he could have been or done. He would never wake again to see his loved ones and this was truely a sad event that was had to be looked past and continued on with the next person.
3/4/2014 03:21:16 pm
The last line of the poem “The death of a Ball Turret Gunner” by Randall Jarrell is a short but powerful sentence. Just from reading it you get the sense that the author is almost bitter. “… they washed me out of the turret with a hose.” This shows how uncaring and matter-of-fact things were in the war. No one was really allowed to care enough when someone died. Things happened and you had to take care of them as quickly as possible and move on, and that was the end of it. The author is showing that he doesn’t agree with how such is dealt with. He probably believes that when people die they should have a proper burial and ceremony and shown some respect. He believed he deserved better for sacrificing so much but going to war in the first place and risking his life for the sake of others. His point of view is understandable but there was just no time for such things to actually happen in the war.
3/4/2014 04:01:06 pm
In the poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" by Randall Jarrell the author suggest the life span of a solider. "From my mothers sleep I fell into State and I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze." (line 1) this quote suggest the men were young. At the end the author puts this powerful quote. "When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose" (line 5) This quote has no feeling to it. The men that died were to no value and died just for the cause. You really can not blame the military, freedom costs lives. The usage of a small description of what happens also helps get an idea of the short life of a gunner. The author was against this because he put a negative attitude at the end of the poem.
3/4/2014 10:37:21 pm
In the poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" by Randall Jarrell imagery shows how much of an impact the war had on the lives of the men fighting in the war. Jarrell uses imagery to depict how short a the young man's life was, from describing him in his mother's womb, to him being wash away like a piece of garbage. The author's attitude toward this poem is almost a sarcastic tone, as the men that fought in the war just essentially lived their lives to die. This is shown through Jarrell's writing, "From my mother's sleep I fell into the State, And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze " (Jarrell lines 1&2). Jarrell is referring to how the man in the war went from feeling safe and protected to just being another man among the dead. Jarrell is also showing through imagery, the war was bringing men to their deathbeds.
3/5/2014 01:34:11 am
In the poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" by Randall Jarell, imagery gives us a better picture on what life was like in the ball turret. The life in the ball turret is really short. Jarell uses imagery to show us how short a mans life is in the ball turret and they can't really do anything about it. "When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose" (Jarrell line 5). this shows us how important the guys in the ball turret actually were, which isn't very important. When someone died in the ball turret all they did was wash it out. This shows how the was was serious because they didn't even have time to mourn over the lost soldier. It's pretty careless how they get rid of them. All they do is get rid of the dead body and put a new one down there to get ready to die also. This shows us how the authors attitude towards death is careless and doesn't really matter when you're in the war because you have to move on and keep fighting the battle.
3/5/2014 01:46:01 am
The Imagery of the last line in "The ball turret gunner" by Randall Jarrell makes me feel that the author feels like an object to the men in the grey suits. To them he’s only a number on a pay stub. They don't care that he died, they don't care if he's mourned, all they care about is that the plan is back to serving its purpose and whoever loses their lives are just nameless casualties. The first line of the poem says “from my mother’s sleep I feel into the state;” (line 1) supporting my claim that he is just a number and he feels strongly against it. His life ended short because of the orders, the cheapness the lack of care for the human life by the men signing his checks.
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