reading analysis

Reading Analysis: Heart of Disillusionment

Discuss how the following quote demonstrates Modernist disillusionment with both warfare and colonialism. Your discussion can refer to both WWI poetry and Heart of Darkness.

Once, I remember, we came upon a man-of-war anchored off the coast. There wasn’t even a shed there, and she was shelling the bush. It appears the French had one of their wars going on thereabouts. Her ensign dropped limp like a rag; the muzzles of the long six-inch guns stuck out all over the low hull; the greasy, slimy swell swung her up lazily and let her down, swaying her thin masts. In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent. Pop, would go one of the six-inch guns; a small flame would dart and vanish, a little white smoke would disappear, a tiny projectile would give a feeble screech—and nothing happened. Nothing could happen. There was a touch of insanity in the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight; and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me earnestly there was a camp of natives—he called them enemies!—hidden out of sight somewhere. (300 words)

Note:Answer the question in a longish paragraph (roughly 300 words). Support your argument with evidence from the text or texts. This can be quoted evidence, or you can simply refer to significant events, descriptive passages or statements made by the speaker or characters. Try to write as densely and thoughtfully as you can. You will be graded on the thoughtfulness of your analysis.

Note: These are not response papers in which you simply describe how you feel about the material; you need to read the prompt carefully and respond with analysis.


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