Compare & contrast  the Chinese folk song: WHAT PLANT IS NOT FADED? with WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE? by Pete SeegerI also have to comment on the qualities Seeger's song shares with the...

Compare & contrast  the Chinese folk song: WHAT PLANT IS NOT FADED? with WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE? by Pete Seeger

I also have to comment on the qualities Seeger's song shares with the seletion from The Book of Songs

Asked on by swolfson

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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These two works are plaintiff verses about war. Neither one presents war in a positive light. Both focus on the plight of the soldier and both illustrate how soldiers suffer - being taken away from their families, living in harsh conditions, all in order to protect their countries.

What man is not taken
To defend the four bounds?

What plant is not wilting?
What man is not taken from his wife?

            (from The Book of Songs)

Where have all the young men gone?

Gone for soldiers every one

              (from Seeger's song)

Seeger's song is more of a protest song against war. It is reminiscent of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible in the way it presents the cycle of life - where have the flowers gone, picked by young girls; where have the young girls gone, married to young men; where have the young men gone, gone for soldiers; where have the soldiers gone, to the grave. It illustrates the futility of war when it asks the question:

When will we ever learn?

When will we ever learn?

The Chinese folk song does not really express this view, although it does express the harsh reality of the life of a soldier:

Alas for us soldiers,
Neither by day nor by night can we rest!

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