At the Bomb Testing Site Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of At the Bomb Testing Site.
This section contains 984 words
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Death

"At the Bomb Testing Site" makes a big point by focusing on something very small: a solitary desert lizard facing destruction. By describing something concrete, the poem addresses the unimaginable. It works by subtly enlarging our perceptions of nature, violence, and death. The poem is written in a quiet, casual tone that increases in intensity in the third stanza but never mentions the words "death" or "war." Instead we get that information from the title and infer the rest from the unfolding description of the lizard. The closest the poem comes to a direct comment is in line 11 's "a change," which is a euphemism for "annihilation." In this context, the word "change" is chilling - how can we think of death this way? If we follow this reasoning, we must wonder how we can read the casualties of a bombing as just numbers on a page, or...

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This section contains 984 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the At the Bomb Testing Site Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
At the Bomb Testing Site from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.