Writing About Character, Stetting, and Tone in Poetry
.In World War II spheres made of steel and plexiglass were the home of ball turret gunners on their B-17 bombers. These planes were large and not very maneuverable for dog fights with other enemy planes. The main purpose for these planes was to simply drop bombs on enemy targets (vccslitonline.cc.va.us/ReadingPoetry/callahan.htm). "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" by Randall Jarrel is a poem about the duties and life of a ball turret gunner. The meaning or theme in this story is that World War II ball turret gunners chances of death are highly probably. Jarrel demonstrates this by the language of the central character, the setting that is portrayed, and the tone of the overall poem..
The central character may also be the speaker in this certain poem. We get this idea from the language that is used throughout this work.
The speaker is obviously familiar with these airplanes and most certainly is or was a soldier at one point in time. In line two he speaks of his jacket and how "my" as in "his" fur froze leading us to believe he actually has experience with a ball turret in combat at these altitudes. "Loosed form its dream of life" is a phrase in line 3 in which this character lets us feel that if you are in a ball turret in combat that you are somehow in a different realm. You are not thinking about everyday things that normal people do such as "what's for dinner?" or "I hope I get that raise at work". In fact, it is almost that Jarrel is saying you are focused on living and surviving the trip into combat and home is a million miles away, even if you have time...