Barbed Wire By Mary Emeny Essay

This essay has a total of 597 words and 5 pages.

Barbed Wire By Mary Emeny


Mary Emeny's poem, "Barbed Wire," depicts war as a negative force, destroying every decent
aspect of human existence. Written during the Vietnam War, the work displays Emeny's
negative views on war. In one way or another everyone experiences and identifies with the
presence of war. Although some wars are fought for justifiable reasons, every war tears
into the lives of those undeserving. The tragic effects of war consume the innocent
creating an unconquerable path of entanglement.

The physical effects of war overwhelm the naive causing pain and suffering. Initially, war
entangles the lives of youth, destroying the innocence that they experience as an aspect
of their life. The girl "glid[ing] gracefully down the path" (1) and the boy "rid[ing]
eagerly down the road" (9) have their enjoyable realities striped by the harshness of war.
Likewise, war enters women's lives creating turmoil. The woman who works "deftly in the
fields" ( ) no longer is able to experience the offerings of life. The "wire cuts," ( )
pushing her away from the normal flow of life. In addition, man undergoes tragic obstacles
as a result of war. "A man walks nobly and alone" ( ) before the horrible effects of war
set in on his life causing disruptions. War enters the life of man destroying the bond man
shares with his beloved environment ( ).

Although a great deal of physical effects exist in Emeny's work, the spiritual
consequences of war serve as the most devastating ones. The will and spirit of those
amidst the harshness of war diminishes because of the seriousness of war. Prior to the
complexities of war, the "spirit flees gleefully to the clouds," ( ) illustrating the
freedom one expresses without repression. As soon as the "wire catches," ( ) or the war
commences, and intervenes with the lives of innocent bystanders, the innocence is lost.
Furthermore, the hearts of the untainted human beings experience demolition due to the
irrationality of war. Before the tragedy of war enters the picture, a heart "goes openly
to the street," ( ) showing the freedom that one possesses until the "wire snares," ( )
and the sense of innocence disappears. Significantly, as a direct result of the
entanglement of war, man's mind suffers pain and misfortune. A man's mind "grows in
searching" ( ) preceding the brutality of war, exhibiting the ability of man to explore
his surroundings without interference. War's hampering of the innocent limits man to
certain life experiences that repress his potential.( ).

"Barbed Wire" illustrates how the severity of war detracts from the innocence within and
surrounding humans. Men and women languish from the tangible results of war, encountering
barriers when attempting to complete normal tasks. On the other hand, the spiritual
consequences of war such as the repression of the mind, signify the tragedy involved when
faced with war. Ultimately, war serves as an aspect of life that possesses the capacity to
destroy human experiences and beliefs.



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