Eve of Destruction

This study guide will help you analyze the poem “Eve of Destruction” by P. F. Sloan. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, composition, characters and narrator, language and style, rhythm and rhyme, imagery and metaphors, theme and message.

Presentation of the poem

Title: “Eve of Destruction”
Author: P. F. Sloan
Published in: “Barry McGuire: Eve of Destruction” (album)
Date of Publication: 1965
Genre: Song/Poem

P.F. Sloan (born Philip Gary Schlein, 1945-2015) was an American singer and songwriter. The text of “Eve of Destruction” brought him international fame back in 1965, when the song was performed by Barry McGuire, an American singer.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

The style and mode of expression

As the poem “Eve of Destruction” takes the form of a protest song, we can say that its content is rather solemn. The tone of the poem is, overall, serious and somber, meant to suggest that wartime is related to tragedy. The poem takes the form of an account of different consequences of war, both in the USA and in other parts of the word, specifically Eastern Asia. The account of these consequences is gloomy and meant to make readers understand that wartime is never a time of pride and glory, but one of sorrow and destruction.


The repetition of the song’s refrain is probably the most important one in the poem, as it reinforces the imminence of disaster if changes are not made and wars are not stopped...

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Eve of Destruction

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