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The Message of Babi Yar
There are very few people in the world who are willing to go
against the popular trends and do what they feel in their hearts is
correct. But Yevgeny Yevtushenko is one of those people. In his poem
Babi Yar, he tells the story of the modern persecution of the Jews,
focusing on atrocities like those of the massacre at Babi Yar and the
pogroms at Beilostok, and also the general anti-Semitism that killed
men like Dreyfus and pervades the entire Russian people. The poem uses
many literary devices, such as graphic imagery and contrasts, while
painting a very clear picture of the scenes of pure horror.
Babi Yar is written in many different voices, all of which,
however, have the same message. The author starts off with his own
perspective, then goes on and describes certain people in modern
Jewish history whose lives will forever be remembered as symbols of
the time. At the end of the poem the author comes back and speaks in
his own voice, yet this time he delivers a message to his people about
how they have committed a large number of these crimes against the
Jews, yet think that such actions are pure and good for Russia. By
switching from the voices of those who were so afflicted by the
persecution to a voice of accusation, the author effectively points
out how foolish the arguments of the Russians are when they try to
point out any validity in killing millions of Jews.
The poem starts out with a...