The Four Brothers Poem Analysis

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You Are What You Live Wars have existed ever since the beginning of civilisation. They are usually the result of selfless acts portrayed by humans in order to obtain some sort of new territory or political power. Historical events such as wars affect the lives of many people including writers or artists like Carl Sandburg, the famous poet who wrote the poems “Boes” and “The Four Brothers” in an attempt to express what he felt in the after math of the Spanish-American War and during World War I. In Fact, All throughout these poems, Carl Sandburg expresses that the war is the true enemy of the people because it leads to the dehumanisation of a person, multiple victims of war and countless negative effects on veterans. To begin with, wars take…show more content…
First, During wars, people don’t show much value for life. This statement is expressed for example in “The Four Brothers” through this passage: “I heard one say, ‘I am ready to be killed’| I heard another one say, ‘I am ready to be killed’”(“Sandburg And World War I” 15-16). With this passage, Sandburg expresses to his readers that many soldiers lose the value of life and prefer death over living because of the harsh reality of wars. In fact, many WWI soldiers committed suicide in order to escape the life of a trench soldier (“Military Suicides, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Birth Trauma”). Secondly, soldiers are brain washed and turned into killing machines. They are “Eating to kill,| Sleeping to kill” (“Sandburg and World War I” 36-37). This passage from “The Four Brothers” demonstrates the absolute dehumanisation of soldiers during WWI. It expresses how soldiers were…show more content…
These verses also show that soldiers aren’t the only victims of war. For example, in WWI many families were affected by the deaths of their son, husband, father or brother who died serving their country. Next, WWI took the life of numerous citizens and soldiers. Sandburg voiced this particular problem through his poem “The Four Brothers”: “The graves from the Irish sea to the caucaus peaks are ten times a million” (Appendix 2.2) (“Sandburg and World War I” 141). Being a reporter in Europe during WWI, Sandburg knew the circumstances of the war, he knew that millions of people were dying so he added this verse to his poem in order to describe to the world the result of WWI. Lastly, World War I affected the economy of the participating countries. This is proven by “The Four Brothers” a poem that Sandburg at the time: “Cows gone, mothers on sick beds, Children crying a hunger and no milk comes in the noon-time or at night.” (“Sandburg and World War I” 144). This verse portrays a major problem lived throughout WWI; the lack of food and economical crash that affected the countries involved in the war like Germany for instances (“How Did World War I Start And End?”). In summary, the elements depicted throughout this paragraph come to show that war results with many victims in different ways which is why Carl

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