How Does Hardy Portray An Emotive View Of War In ‘ Essay

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How does Hardy portray an emotive view of war in ‘Drummer Hodge’ and ‘The man he Killed’?

Both the poems written by Hardy were written about the Boer war. Although they have the same topic matter they present the ways in which war affects people in two different ways. Hardy does this through different poetry techniques and creating different emotions. ‘The man he killed’ is a poem almost literal to its title. It’s about a young soldier who kills a man in war. To summarize, the speaker is attempting to explain to others and to himself why he killed another soldier, one from the opposing side. Whereas Drummer Hodge, is a description of the rather undignified burial of a young Wessex soldier who has been killed in the Boer War.

The ‘man he killed’ is a first person narrative, and uses a young solider as the speaker. The effect of this first person monologue is the reader hears this almost chatty tone in which Hardy has set the speaker. This is effective when Hardy shows regret and hesitance in the third stanza, using this chatty tone. “I shot him dead because-“This dash shows the speakers pause and perhaps doubt at why he did shoot the man. Hardy portrays the emotions of the soldier using this dash; he shows us how a soldier may not know the true reason why he ever killed anyone, and how they must reassure themselves it was the right thing to do.   Hardy also uses comparative techniques to portray emotive view of war. In the first two stanza’s he compares what would have happened if he had met the man he killed in a pup, compared to meeting him in war. “Had he and I but met, By some ancient inn” The use of conditional tense shows perhaps a bitterness in the narrators view on the actual circumstances he was in. The first stanza is very light-hearted, and happy, and the second stanza is very powerful and intimate. The comparison of the two stanzas makes the images of war more shocking and violent to the reader. “I shot at him and he at me” This sentence is very...

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