“O, Captain!My Captain! ”by Walt Whiteman

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The disagreement in Walt Whiteman’s poem O Captain!My Captain! occurs as Whiteman becomes disillusioned with President Pierce. Whiteman thought he had met an ideal in President Abraham Lincoln at one point. However, this position changes after Lincoln is assassinated after the North’s victory in the Civil War. At this point, Whiteman, who is referred to as the son in this poem, believes that his father, Abraham Lincoln, has deserted him. He was relieved that the war’s terrifying journey was over (Whiteman 1). The conflict in the poem is introduced from the perspective of the tone used by the author. Whiteman changes the tone of the poem from that of triumph to despair now that he believes that the nation is without a leader following the death of Lincoln. This is evident when the author expresses his personal feeling stating that “But I with mournful”. (Peck 85). The same is witnessed with the ship crew who initially expressed a tone of exultation and victory but the mood and tone changes to when they discover the Captain is dead. Conflict is also seen when the mood changes to that of disbelief. Whiteman writes that “Rise –up-for you the flag is flug” (Whiteman 10)
The climax of the conflict is witnessed when the tone of the poem changes to despairingly inward. The author writes, “But I, with a mournful tread…” and the line “Fallen cold and dead…” repeated a number of times indicating an inward conflict of shock and disbelief and the sense of personal loss (Whiteman 8). The resolution to this conflict, now that the speaker has been left alone, he has to take control of the helm. He can do this by asserting himself and continue being part of the “swaying masses”.
“O Me! O Life! By Walt Whiteman
The conflict in this poem “O Me! O Life!” By Walt Whiteman arises when the author is torn apart between his existence and the futility of his life. He is left to ponder between the “endless trains of the faithless” or “the many people who betray his expectations” (Whiteman 1-2). Conflict is introduced in the poem in the perspective of questions and answers which are in contrasts bringing out the statements of the humble but irrepressible value of the life of the author.
The author asks how a person is able to view his life in a meaningful light while at the same time he is drawn back on several cases to thoughts of how “faithful” and “foolish” people are. The author goes ahead to include himself among the faithless and the foolish people. The author laments on the things that never go the way he could have wished and observed the “sordid crowds”
Whiteman keeps on questioning in the poem how things keep on conflicting in life like when he asks that in the midst of all the disappointments and striving and the meanness and sordidness in life, is there anything good in it at all and is there any use for the poet to even exist, is there any point? The poet has a conflicting position between his dreams and wishes and what the world around him offers.
The solution to this conflict that the author is going through is to have the poet find the value in his life. The value of the life of humans is according to the poem “you are here-that life exists and identify” (Whiteman 8). This way the poet will be full of the belief that he has an opportunity to live regardless of the recurrent losses or disappointments in his life.
“Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen
The conflict in the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen is caused by the experience that Own went through during his battlefront in the British Army in the First World War. There are several cases in the poem where the theme of conflict stands out. The poem presents the theme of conflict to the readers from an imaginary perspective as he narrates the story as a platoon of soldiers who are so “drunk with fatigue…” making them deaf to “the haunting flares” as they leave the battlefield (Owen 7).
Despite the fact that the battle is behind the soldiers, they physically and mentally still carry with them the conflict of the war, as they are seen to “bent double like old beggars under sacks”. They are so exhausted and broken that they are reduced physically to “old beggars (Owen 1- 2). They even seem to conflict with the ground they are walking on as they are slowed down by the mad sucking at their boots.
I look at the conflict from an ironic perspective in the sense that, despite being soldiers for a long time, they even conflict with their war equipment. They are seen to struggle to have “the clumsy helmets…” with an “ecstasy of fumbling” (Owen 10). They are also afraid of each other instead of being afraid of the enemy. This is seen when the image of Owen scares one of the soldiers. The soldiers are seen “floundering like a man in fire” (Owen 12).
Conflict is also seen in the haunting guilt as the poet later recalls this scene in his nightmares as he watched the soldier die as he plunges at him begging for help. The resolution to this conflict is for Owen to change his attitude towards the people who promoted war as they recruited new soldiers to take the place of the dead ones. For Own, the conflict came to an end when he died on the battlefield at the age of twenty-five.
“The Death of the Ball Turrent Gunner” by Wilfred Owen
The conflict in the poem “The Death of the Ball Turrent Gunner” by Wilfred Owen is between flesh and spirit that arises from the position of the poet that puts more emphasis on the physical nature of mankind over more important aspects that are metaphysical. This conflict is created by the author’s emphasis on Death as the one that separates the physical world and the spiritual world.
The perspective that the poem assumes is that he does not distinguish the physical world from the world of nonphysical thoughts and goes ahead to present them as a result of the human mind. From my perspective, I assume a more complex view about death in that life is the one that is unfeeling and unthinking and the life of a person is only liberated at the moment he or she dies.
However, it such a moment, it is normally too late for awareness. The resolution to this conflict is to have people reach at the state of awareness at the time they are faced with death, and this is not that death is awakening, but now that the physicality and spirituality of a person are too close to stays apart.

Works Cited
Owen Wilfred. “Dulce et Decorum Est”. POETRY FOUNDATION .1920. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46560/dulce-et-decorum-est
Owen, Winfred. The Death of the Ball Turrent Gunner”. POETRY FOUNDATION. 1980 https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57860/the-death-of-the-ball-turret-gunner
Peck, Garrett. Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C.: The Civil War and America’s Great Poet. Charleston, SC: The History Press. 2015, p. 85
Shmoop Editorial Team. “O, Captain! My Captain! Summary.” Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 8, Nove.2017
Whiteman Walt. “O Me! O Life!. POETRY FOUNDATION. 1892 https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/51568/o-me-o-life
Whiteman Walt. “O, Captain!My Captain!” POETRY FOUNDATION. 1867. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45474/o-captain-my-captain

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