• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Write a comparison of the ways the writers (Hardy and Graves) 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-real

Extracts from this document...


English Literature (June 2002 Exam Question) 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. Hardy wrote 'Drummer Hodge' as a poem depicting the way in which a young drummer boy from Dorset dies and is then buried without ceremony, on the South African plain, during the War. Unfortunately for the young child, and tragically, he died for reasons he wasn't aware of and for matters he probably didn't understand. Similarly, Graves' poem, 'A Dead Boche' also concentrates on the theme of the War, however his poetry reflects and is written from his own personal experience of the war. Hardy writes about the 'Young Hodge' with a great amount of emphasis and expression. By doing this, Hardy makes his readers even more sympathetic with the young drummers tragic fate, 'They throw in...'. Similarly Graves too emphasises' his words with a sense of anger as well as passion. ...read more.


The first line ends with the word 'War' in capital letters. The usage of the capital letter emphasises the bigger picture of War. By just reading the first few lines of the poem, as a reader we are able to establish the emphasis and expression Hardy has written about an article he read in a local newspaper and is not directly addressed to war. The callous words 'just as found' sound as if they have been extracted from a report which is ironic since the poem itself is based on an article read by Hardy. However, on the other hand, for this reason it doesn't have the same detail and imagery that Graves' describes about the death of the soldier in his poem. Graves has written his from a personal experience, which adds an element of truth about what exactly he saw 'propped against a shattered trunk'. The word 'propped' seems as if it has been set up like a stage, and the word shattered could be referring to the state of the dead soldier's body. ...read more.


In my opinion the death of the drummer boy is very tragic and sad. Hardy writes with passion and his choice and order of words emphasise how life can be short, 'the Drummer never knew....' The young boy should have been able to live longer and experience life, but now his body lies in an unmarked grave where it feeds and nourishes the African soil. However when compared to A Dead Boche, I would question what is 'romantic and idealised' about a body being 'thrown' into a grave. I would certainly agree that the German soldier is presented with stark realism. This is because that because of the fact that Graves' has written his poetry from a personal experience, which adds a sense of reality and authenticity to what he writes about the soldier having a 'sodden green' face, whereas Drummer Hodge refers to no physical details of the dead drummer boy. Graves also adds a personal touch to his poem by using words like 'spectacled' and saying 'Today I found' making it immediate, a real event, not one day, but today. Payal Patel F-Code ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. 'Drummer Hodge' by Thomas Hardy describes the burial of an English soldier in the ...

    The repetition of the image of dust and ground is a reference to the burial the Drummer should have received it also acts as a bigger metaphor for growth and fertility.

  2. The Soldier

    This line also makes people believe that the same would apply their death if it were to come about, that their bodies would make the land where they die become "England". Continuing, he writes "There shall be in that rich earth a richer dust concealed; a dust whom England bore,

  1. Comparison between Rupert Brooke's "The Soldier" and Thomas Hardy's "Drummer Hodge".

    Rupert Brook's The Soldier can be seen as an important and patriotic document of preparation for war. Brooke intended for the poem to inspire patriotism in the English in World War I, and he wished for The Soldier to be easily understood by everyone, thereby avoiding any heavy metaphorical meanings to the poem.

  2. On the Idle Hill, The Drum and Drummer Hodge - Poets often write poems ...

    Scott uses the words 'tawdry', 'charms', and 'glittering' to create an image of honour and glory. In the following line, Scott makes the word 'Ambition' seem like a person - this is a good example of personification. He is stressing the fact that 'Ambition', or the war officers, only have to give one order to send you to your death.

  1. "I knew a simple soldier boy"Siegfried Sassoon (1918) - Considerthe presentation of the ordinary ...

    may as well already be dead, because death is so inevitable at war. Sassoon shows us in this poem how innocent 'soldier boys' are converted into suicidal wrecks. However, this is not the only view of the 'ordinary' soldier, Rupert Brooke wrote poetry portraying soldiers in a totally different light.

  2. Basing your answer on three of the poems write a comparison of the ways ...

    out of the fun' are presented as cowards, particularly in the final stanza where there is no comparable line as 'there's only one course to pursue'. The representation of men who 'lie low' and refuse to fight as cowardly is typical of war poetry.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work