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Hilliard’s experience of war renders his home life meaning less. With close reference to the text, demonstrate how Susan Hill conveys this to the reader.

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Introduction

Hilliard's experience of war renders his home life meaning less. With close reference to the text, demonstrate how Susan Hill conveys this to the reader. Hilliard's time at home tells us a great deal of his experience at war. When he compares the two worlds, his life before the war seems meaningless to him. When he returns home, he finds that he does not fit in with life anymore, and thinks that he never will again. This is strongly conveyed in the opening of the novel. He knows nothing about normal life anymore. ' Knew everything. Nothing.' He has found out so much about life and death, but feels that it has obliterated all that he knew to be normal. At war, Hilliard feels that he doesn't know himself anymore. He comes up against aspects of his personality that don't seem to matter anymore. There are lots of references of Hilliard's childhood. His mind seems to move around constantly. You are given a strong sense of how his life used to be and how simple it was. Hilliard relates it to what is happening at the present time. ...read more.

Middle

When Hilliard is at home, he stands back at looks at his home. ' Around it, the lawns, about whose closeness of cut his father worried the gardener daily, the symmetrical flowerbeds, the perfectly pruned roses. He had been born here. The windows were tall and blank. It meant nothing to him.' His views and perspectives on life have changed. It doesn't matter to him anymore what the garden looks like - it's not important anymore. It' also a reflection on the neat order of his home life compared with the chaos of war. It seems that the news of the war has caused his family to panic and try and protect their own secluded little worlds. It's a defence against the awareness of the chaos of war Hilliard develops an urgency to leave his home life behind and get back to the front. This is shown in the way that Hilliard is ready to leave for London far too soon and doesn't want his mother to come with him. He wants to leave it all behind. This urgency continues to build up when he is with his mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

His old life is over. On the train to London, Hilliard thinks of all the useless comments his family made to him and realises that he can't relate to them, and his family cant relate to him. It represents the shallow tone of his family, due to their lack of knowledge of war. As he leaves he feels ' a moment of singing happiness.' It seems quite ironic but we can understand Halliards point of view. He has moved on from his old life. Living with the extremities of life and death has changed him. He will never be the same again. Hilliard confesses how he really feels when he returns to the front and meets Barton. He admits that he was terrible unhappy at home. In conclusion, Hilliard had been completely changed by his experiences of war. He has seen life and death at their worst. He can never be the same again, or fit in with life at home. People at home have a total lack of understanding. They talk about war as if they were there, and it's not a big deal. They don't know what it was really like. Hilliard does and will have to live with those images for the rest of his life. Senel Besim 11h Strange Meeting by Susan Hill ...read more.

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