The Cold War period allowed for new understandings into the various “Ways of Thinking”, which helped shape the societal paradigms of the era. These revelations in to the new “Ways of Thinking” is evidenced through Sylvia Plath’s poems, “Daddy”, “The Applicant” and “Morning Song”, and John F. Kennedy’s speech, “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” (1963). The composers are effectively able to reflect the “Ways of Thinking” of the period, such as the scientific, religious, philosophical and economic paradigms, in their compositions through various literary techniques.
Plath and Kennedy demonstrate the scientific “Ways of Thinking” in their respective texts through highlighting the fear created by the threat of annihilation by the nuclear bomb. Plath is able to illustrate this in her poem “Daddy” through the use of World War Two references. The strong imagery presented in “Chuffing me off like a Jew / A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen” uses negative connotations to reflect the horror of war and its inventions of deadly chemicals. Also, the onomatopoeia and simile underlines the brutality of war, which an audience of the Cold War era could relate as around the time Plath was writing her poem, the Cuban Missile Crisis was occurring. Similarly, Kennedy, in his speech “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” challenges his audience to not be afraid of Communism, as he believes it is flawed. He is able to effectively do this through stating to his audience “There are many people in the world who really don’t understand … what is the great issue between the free world and the communist world, let them come to Berlin… Lass sic nach Berlin” and the use of repetition of “Let them come to Berlin” in German and English is used to unify his audience against Communism which i...
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...ondemnation of the Berlin Wall reinforces the faults in the Communist system as he assertively describes it as “the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system”. Kennedy presents Communism as inept through accentuating its limitations, expressing the economic “Ways of Thinking” of the time period. Consequently, Plath and Kennedy are able to indicate to their audiences their notions about the economic paradigms through nature of Western society, and additionally for Kennedy, the failures of the Communist system.
Each composer is able to impart on their audiences, their notions on the impact of the scientific, religious, philosophical and economic “Ways of Thinking” on society during the Cold War era. Plath and Kennedy use these paradigms to challenge or persuade their respective audiences to share their views of society and the world.
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