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Flashcards in War Photographer Deck (28)
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In his dark room he is finally alone

Emphatic position

Shows that he is relieved to be back home in peace and quiet and that he can leave behind the horrors of war.

The "dark room" could also be a reference to his mind which during the time when he is in the war zones is very spilt on whether he should help the civilians or carry on with his job. At home, he doesn't have these thoughts as he is in peace.


spools of suffering

Transferred epithet/sibilance

Refers to the pictures that are layed out and contain images of war. Sibilance creates a negative atmosphere and sounds like the hissing of a snake, implying that war is evil.


ordered rows


The way in which the photos are layed out remind the readers of a cementary due to the similar layout it. This implies that the pictures were full of death which creates a tense atmosphere.


The only light is red and softly glows


"Red" symbolises danger, warning and blood that is present in the horrific images.

"Light" symbolises the light in church which symbolises Christ.

"Softly glows" the use of the gentle vocabulary contrasts the violence present in the photos.


as though this were a church and he a a priest preparing to intone a mass


Just as a priest is the intermediary between two worlds: heaven and earth, so too is the war photographaer the intermediary between the war zones and the zones in peace.

"Intone a mass" suggests that for the war photographer, developing these photos is like a ritual and he wants to spread the word that should stop evil just like the church has a mass to try and do so to.


Belfast. Beiruth. Phnom Penh.

Short sentences/Plosive sounds

This is meant to imitate the sound of gun fire to create an impression of war zones. The places listed are all places where there has been a war. The full stops show that they have ended.


All flesh is grass

Biblical reference

This references to all of the bodies that have died on a battlefield. The biblical reference emphasises that sooner or later we will all day some day and we will become earth again. However, this should be a natural process and it should not be having to occur due to wars.


He has a job to do.

Short simple sentence/Serious tone

Suggests that he is trying to think of this professionally and is detatching himself from the sadness of war.


Solutions slop in trays

Double meaning/Sibilance

The sibilance recreates the sound th pictures make in the solution. The other meaning is that these pictures could be the solutions to war.


beneath his hands, which did not tremble then though seem to now.

Turning point/word choice/contrast

"then" shows that in the warzones he remains professonial and doesn't get too emotional there. However, "now" suggests that when he is home, the trauma really gets to him. "Tremble" suggests that he traumatised and highlights the contrasts between how he approaches his job when he is the warzone versus how he does so when he is home.


Rural England.

Short Sentence/Contrast

The short sentence emphasises how simple life in England is.

"Rural" - word choice - suggests that the life in England is full of peace and serenity.

This peace contrasts to the violence people face in the warzones.


ordinary pain


Emphasises that he used to seeing and feeling pain.


ordinary pain which simple weather can dispel

Word choice/contrast

"simple" and "dispel" suggests that the problems we face in in peaceful zones are nothing significant and can therefore be easily forgotten about which contrasts to the pain people experience in the warzones as that cannot be easily overcome.


fields which do not explode beneath the feet of running children


Refers to the pain that the poor children in the war zones have to face. "running" implies that they are doing everything they can to save their lives and it is not a fun activity. This contrasts to the peaceful zones as children run for fun and as part of a game.


nightmare heat

Word choice

"Nightmare" emphasies that the pain people in the war zones feel is like something from a bad dream, but yet it is their reality. This contrasts to the peaceful zones when nightmares are usually quickly forgotten about in the morning but the people in the war zones cannot as they are living in a nightmare.

"Heat" is a symbol for the tension of the war.


Something is happening.

Short sentence

The abrupt change in the line of thought shows how the war photographer's photos are started to develop which brings the writers attention to them. It suggests that he is not fully in control of the development process.


A stranger's features faintly start to twist

Word choice

"twist" refers to the idea that the photos are developing and it also refers to the idea that the man's pained exprerssion is in the photo.


Half-formed ghost


The picture is still developing. It is also refers to the idea that the man on the picture has died which is why he is a "ghost".


How he sought approval without words to do what someone must

Tancit Agreement

This questions whether war photography is ethical as people should a right to their own privacy especially in a death situation but at the same time, the horrors of the war should be documented. Due to the language barier that just make a tancit agreement.


Blood stained


"blood" refers to all of the blood that is shed due to the war

"stained" symbolises that the horrors of war traumatise people and the landscape forever


Foreign dust

Word choice

"foreign" suggests that because these wars go on overseas, it is easy for people in the peaceful zones to forget about them and move on with their normal lives.

"dust" further suggests that the war zones are just ignored by people in the peaceful zones and can also be a reference to the death of many people in the war zones which others do not care about.


A hundred agonies


Emphasises how many of the photos there are and thus, the small amount of people suffering in the war zones.


Agonies in black and white


The photos are literally black and white, but they are also these colours as it is clear to see the pain in these photos.


from which his editor will pick out five or six for Sunday's supplement.


The large amount of photos that the photographer has contrasts with the very small amount of photos that the editor chooses. This emphasises that the photographer thinks that the photos are not getting the spotlight that they should be getting in order to really make an impact. "Sunday's supplement" is chose as Sunday is a religious day therefore, suggests that readers will feel like they have done their duty by looking at the photos.


The reader's eyeballs prick with tears

Word choice/angry tone

"prick" suggests that the reader is slightly moved but they don't actually do anything about it which infuriates the war photographer as people do not do anything to help the people in the war zones.


between the bath and pre-lunch beers.

Quick pace of poem

The fact that the readers are looking at the images between two relaxing activities, emphasises how quickly they will forget about the photos as is reflected by how quick the pace of the poem is.


He stares impassively

Word Choice

Shows that he has become detached from the world due to his trauma. He cannot understand how people are ignoring the wars that are going on and he feels helpless that his photos are not doing anything. There is irony that he is making money from the people that have died.


they do not care.

Emphatic position

"They" suggests that he doesn't unite himself with his countrymen as they all are ignorant as they do not care about stopping war.

The emphatic position highlights that people do not care about the suffering of others.

Ultimately, he realises that his photos are pointless due to people's ignorance and the poem ends sadly.