Kilroy Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Kilroy.
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The most prevalent theme in Viereck's "Kilroy" is praise for the spirit of adventure, particularly that of soldiers trekking through foreign lands with eagerness and bravado. The phrase "Kilroy was here" symbolizes the American GI's vitality during World War II and his widespread presence in cities and jungles, deserts and islands. The poem celebrates—ironically perhaps—a soldier's sense of liberation and desire to follow gut instinct. It turns the common soldier into an epic hero, comparing him to such historical adventurers as Christopher Columbus or Marco Polo and the mythological figures Ulysses, Orestes, and Icarus. Each of these characters brings an essential ingredient to the whole idea of spirit. Columbus and Polo bring the desire for discovery and the willingness to travel great lengths to find new places, new people, and new things. Ulysses has no choice in his ten-year voyage since he was sentenced...

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This section contains 647 words
(approx. 2 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.