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The War Zone

             The War Zone is a poem written by Joy Harjo. In the poem Harjo used a stylistic approach where she builds up the emotions of the reader then give them a sigh of relief at the end. She describes a scene that is smoky and dark. She fills the reader with intensity and pressure. And then at the end she writes-We go on." That last line just fills the reader with a sigh of relief. As we have discussed in class this poem was written in December 1999 in a situation when everyone was feeling a bit worried and uneasy. A situation brought upon by the Y2K scare, which had everyone thinking that the world was coming to an "inevitable end" as soon as the clock strikes 12:00. Then when the time came, nothing happened and many of us felt silly for getting all worked up about it. But that was just for a while and then we moved on with our lives, which was what Harjo meant: We go on.
             However, this poem, and especially that last line, goes beyond that situation with the Y2K. It is what life is all about: change. Things will come up and some of it can be positive and some are not. But we cannot dwell on it for too long. At some point, we just have to pick it up and run with it. Struggles will come but they also go. They have in the past and I"m sure it will be the same for the situation we are in right now. It's an old story, but we can change the ending by how we react and deal with it. We should not let these things scare us into living in fear, or even worse, let them stop us from living our lives.
             This line or quote is what contemporary literature is all about. We might be all worn out and beat up by life, but we are still strong enough to move one. Yesterday might be smoky and today might be dark, but tomorrow doesn"t have to be headed to a doom. We control how our tomorrow is going to be as long as we don"t give up.

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