Kilroy Essay

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Hill is the author of a poetry collection, has published widely in poetry journals, and is an associate editor for a university communications department. In the following essay, she argues that praise for the American spirit of adventure may have great merit in certain circumstances but is misleading and inappropriate set against a backdrop of war.

"Kilroy" is a poem that could not have been written about the War in Vietnam, the more recent Gulf War, or even earlier conflicts such as World War I and the American Civil War. Its cavalier treatment of a soldier's experience (on the surface, at least—obviously, the poet is familiar with the actual horrors of battle) reflects Americans' overwhelming support of the government's declaration of war on Japan after its attack on Pearl Harbor. Shocked and angered by this act of aggression, young men were happy to sign up for the...

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This section contains 1,582 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Kilroy Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Kilroy from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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