Memories of the Atomic Bomb Shown in "Children Are Game" and "Atomic Bomb"

analytical Essay
2298 words
2298 words

Ask any two people if they remember where they were on 9/11 and you will receive a stunningly detailed description. However, if you ask those same two people for a detailed account of what happened that day you would receive two vastly different stories. Why is that? Well, memory is a very subjective thing. Public memory is subject to even more hazy recollections. Scholars, witness, and government officials all have different versions about the details. Often times it is artists who bring together these accounts by creating work which encourages public discussion. Two such artists are Isabelle Gardner, writer of the poem "Children Are Game " and Andy Warhol, painter of "Atomic Bomb". These two artists contribute to the collective memory of the atomic bomb by helping us grapple with its meaning. They do this by reflecting back on society the struggle of exact memory, which any society faces when dealing with such traumatic events, into their work by using cycles of memory and forgetting. Through this process Warhol and Gardner create a venue through which significant public discussion can occur about the bomb and people can discern for themselves the accuracy of the generally accepted public memory of the bomb.

In Edward Brunner's book Cold War Poetry he writes "to live in the Atomic Age is to acknowledge the citizen is much as a target as any military base" (224). However, with the Cold War looming in the distance some people forgot the human cost of using these weapons and the public memory of the bomb changed. The bomb was now seen as a weapon which would keep people safe. In Isabella Gardener's poem "Children Are Game" she describes a narrator who hears children "skating the thin ice of the pond" (Line 17). These children ar...

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...ry. [Normal, Ill.]: Dalkey Archive, 2003. 186-94. Print.

Prosise, Theodore O.. "The collective memory of the atomic bombings misrecognized as objective history: The case of the public opposition to the national air and space museum's atom bomb exhibit" Western Journal of Communication 62.3 (1998): 316-47. 05 Aug. 2010< >

Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block. "Andy Warhol Portfolios: Life & Legends - Tucson Museum of Art." Tucson Museum of Art :: 140 N. Main Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701. Web. 07 Aug. 2010. .

Warhol, Andy, and Pat Hackett. POPism: the Warhol '60s. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990. Print.

Warhol, Andy. The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: (from A to B and Back Again). Orlando: Harcourt, 2006. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that memory is subjective, and that artists like isabelle gardner and andy warhol contribute to the collective memory of the atomic bomb by helping us grapple with its meaning.
  • Analyzes how isabella gardener's poem "children are game" illustrates the idea of the bomb as a weapon to keep people safe.
  • Analyzes how warhol was interested in color and owned many books regarding color theory. the colors are important to notice because of what these two colors typically represent.
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