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Say how far you agree with the views that Drummer Hodge is presented in a romantic, idealised way, and that Graves(TM) German soldier is presented with stark realism.

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Introduction

1 A) Write a comparison of the ways the writers describe the death of a soldier. Say how far you agree with the views that Drummer Hodge is presented in a romantic, idealised way, and that Graves' German soldier is presented with stark realism. Opinions expressed through poetry differ hugely and have always done so throughout history. The opinions and experiences of the writers are the main factors, which affect the content and messages that the poems portray. War poetry such as that of Thomas Hardy and Robert Graves hold opinions, which coincide with their own feelings and emotions on the subject of War. In 'Drummer Hodge' Hardy shows the tragedy and waste of war but no direct criticism is implied. Indeed, 'Drummer Hodge' is presented in a holy, romantic way that is arguably presenting War as a glorious and romantic affair engaged in to protect us from evil. 'A Dead Boche' is far more realistic and Graves seems to use his poem to show how war can be so dehumanising that the dead soldiers can be viewed as symbols rather than people. ...read more.

Middle

Graves understood that the people back home, indirectly involved in the War, saw little of the true horrors and perceived the War to be glamorous and heroic. He creates this poem, with it's sickly language and synesthesia, in an attempt to shock people into reconsidering their opinions on the war as a whole. 'Drummer Hodge' is a completely different poem, from a completely different perspective. Hardy did not directly experience War, unlike Graves, and only wrote the poem 'Drummer Hodge' having read about the young boy's death in a newspaper and therefore because of this, the language in 'A Dead Boche' contrasts hugely with the soft, romantic and natural language in 'Drummer Hodge.' Furthermore this is partly because Graves aims to shock and disgust the reader whilst Hardy aims to glorify and commend in order to increase a feeling of national pride. 'His homely Northern breast and brain Grow to some southern tree, And strange-eyed constellations reign His stars eternally.' The place in which this drummer boy is buried is peaceful and beautiful and in a sense this poem seeks to comfort the British public with the fact that although many will die abroad defending the ...read more.

Conclusion

This deliberate use of rhythm is also seen in 'A Dead Boche' as the rhythm is regular and constant but this seems to end on the last two lines, stopped dead, just as the German soldier was. Also Graves deliberately rhymes certain woods for increased effect. 'Wood/Blood' - Used, as the wood itself would be covered with blood from the battle. 'Green/Unclean - The colour green is the colour of infection, bile and other disgusting things and so their rhyme is perfect especially when placed in context with a dead, decomposing body. Both poems hold their separate views and opinions, Graves anger and despair at the War is openly apparent in 'A Dead Boche' and there is a sense of despair in 'Drummer Hodge' too, as the boy is buried in a foreign land, far from his place of birth, seemingly left; uncared for by his countrymen without even a gravestone to mark his grave. At the same time Hardy seems to celebrate this as being naturalistic and spiritual. There is nothing soft in 'A Dead Boche' and this is intended, at least Hodge was buried underground and laid 'to rest' whilst the German soldier is simply propped against a shattered tree trunk. ...read more.

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