Synthesized Poetic Analysis Essay

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Details:General Guidelines: Assume you are writing to a group of college undergraduates who have read and know the poems well and know Hannah Arendt\’s essay but don\’t know it as well as you do. Your goal is to deepen the students\’ understanding of the poems in light of Arendt\’s essay. Remember, they have read and know the poems well, which means many of the more accessible and immediately apparent themes and motifs are ones with which they will already be familiar and will not be interested in hearing you go into. In short, go beyond stating the obvious meaning in the poems. Your analysis should be debatable and bring something not obvious to a reader upon a first or even second reading. Arendt will certainly help you in this regard and broaden your knowledge base regarding political, social, and cultural issues apparent in the poems. Assignment Prompt: Write an essay in which you analyze the poem \”First they came for the Jews\” by Martin Niemoller\’s and \”Race\” by Karen Gershon in light of \”total domination\” by Hannah Arendt. You will be addressing the imagery, structure, and other areas particular to imaginative literature and how they complement the themes of the poems. But, you will also address how Arendt\’s ideas enhance or even change a reader\’s understanding of the themes. Consider the following questions to begin forming an analysis of the poems using Arendt (ACHTUNG: these questions are not a laundry list for you to check off in your essay; they are meant to get you thinking about the poems in an analytical way). How does what\’s described in the poems reflect what Arendt says are the goal of totalitarian governments and concentration camps, in particular their effects on the individual? What, if any, arguments are the poems and essay making about conformity and diversity? How do the elements of imaginative literature strengthen this connection? Is this connection stronger in one poem than another? Thesis question (to be answered in 1-2 sentences): What do the poems have to say about the importance of diversity (in term of race, culture, ideas) in society and the consequences of misguided, mindless conformity similar to those discussed in Arendt? How do the poems get these points across (imagery, syntax, tone, structure, organization, theme)? Warning: do not assume or even speculate about the writers having written with Arendt in mind. You are drawing the connections between the three works. Must include textual evidence (quotes and/or paraphrases) from the readings.


Here’s a snippet of the essay.


Diversity, in terms of race, culture, and ideas, is a significant element in social cohesiveness, and coexistence. However, diversity can be a dangerous phenomenon if it is presented to misguided and mindless individuals. The foregoing may be supported by the Hanna Arendt’s “total domination” which describes atrocities experienced in Germany during the holocaust, when misconception of racial, cultural, and ideological diversity culminated in bloodshed, and loss of millions of lives under Hitler’s domination. The notion of misguided ideology is further supported in Karen Gershon’s “Race” and reinforced Niemoller’s poem “First they Came for the Jews.” Both poems reflect the themes of totalitarianism as explored in Hannah Arendt’s essay “total domination.” The themes, tone, and imagery used in the poems reflect the exact ideologies of extermination and concentration camps. Just as the essays, the tone and imagery in the essay reflect the most disquieting, brutal, and fundamental aspects of totalitarianism.




The most dominant theme in both poems is the loss of individuality. Adrent explains of siruations that have transformed the human personality into a mere thing (p3). It might deduced that the phenomenon shows the author’s lack of imagery, detail, and tone provides no base for assuming that any of the groups (Jews, communists, trade unionists, “me”) held any more acceptance over the other groups. They are interchangeable, which demonstrates their lack of individuality and reduction to a “mere” thing.


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