'Kamikaze' - Key Quotations

"a shaven head / full of powerful incantations"

- STANZA 1 -

CONTEXT:

The pilot is in his plane, ready to go through with his mission.

THEMES:

Thought; Determination; Acceptance

LANGUAGE:

Noun phrase = "a shaven head" - Brings to mind ideas of the military.

Noun phrase = "powerful incantations" - could this be another ritual, or are these incantations the ideals and beliefs that are driving him forward?

"and enough fuel for a one-way / journey into history"

- STANZA 1 -

CONTEXT:

The pilot knows what he is doing and the consequences of it.

THEMES:

Determination

LANGUAGE:

Metaphor = "journey into history" - implies he thinks he'll be remembered for his actions, almost like a hero. Ironically, his actions are remembered amongst his family and friends for being the opposite of heroic.

"and remembered how he / and his brothers waiting on the shore"

- STANZA 4 -

CONTEXT:

The pilot is looking down at the sea and remembering his own past.

THEMES:

Memory; Family; Nature

LANGUAGE:

Verb = "remembered" - he is no longer entirely focused on his mission. He has allowed his mind to wander, suggesting that doubt may be creeping in.

Noun = "brothers" - he is remembering his family, whom he may never see again if he continues with his mission. Again, a cause of possible doubt.

"cloud-marked mackerel"

"black crabs"

"feathery prawns"

"a tuna"

- STANZA 5 -

CONTEXT:

The pilot is looking down at the sea and remembering times he went fishing with his brothers.

THEMES:

Life; Memory

LANGUAGE:

Semantic field = a semantic field of sea life is created here, the key being 'life'. He is about to take the lives of many people, as well as his own. Perhaps this memory is reminding him of how incredible life can be.

"they treated him / as though he no longer existed"

- STANZA 6 -

CONTEXT:

The pilot returns from his mission having decided to not follow it through, and he is shunned by his family and friends.

THEMES:

Honour; Shame; Rejection

LANGUAGE:

Phrase = "no longer existed" shows the impact his decision had. He may have saved the lives of many people, as well as his own, but he brought shame to those who knew him.

"And sometimes, she said, he must have wondered / which had been the better way to die."

- STANZA 7 -

CONTEXT:

The pilot returns home having changed his mind and is consequently shunned by his family and friends.

THEMES:

Regret; Isolation; Rejection

LANGUAGE:

Phrase = "which had been the better way to die" - implies that the pilot, although he survived the mission, lost everything that was worth living for, such as his family and friends. It suggests that he may have regretted his decision to turn back.