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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Essay length: 2026 words

Compare and contrast the poets' attitude and presentation of the war in 'The man he killed' by Thomas Hardy and the 'The Charge of the light brigade' by Alfred lord Tennyson.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Compare and contrast the poets' attitude and presentation of the war in 'The man he killed' by Thomas Hardy and the 'The Charge of the light brigade' by Alfred lord Tennyson. Right the way through the past many poets have chosen to write on the argumentative topic of war. Multitudinous amounts of poets have chosen to write for and against the topic of war for example John Pudney and William Butler Yeats. Numberless poets have chosen to write about war to show the true human suffering that goes on. A good example of the poet that tends to show the true suffering that goes on during war is Thomas Hardy in his poem 'The man he killed'. On the other hand many poets like to celebrate war and show that dying for your country is honourable. A poet that tends to celebrate war is Alfred lord Tennyson in his poem 'The Charge of the light brigade'. During this essay I will compare and contrast the poets' attitude and views about wars. 'The Charge of the light brigade' describes a pessimistic cavalry charge that took place during the battle of Balaclava.

Middle

This gives an effect that this person is talking to friends. In 'The Charge of the Light Brigade ' there is no clear cut way of saying there is a rhetorical question but there are few statements that can be sensed as rhetorical question such as 'was there a man dismay'd?' This shows that no one doubted the order they had been given. He is trying to say was there a man in doubt but still look at what he did. 'The man he killed' in parts does not have a lot of imagery. The poet wants to give the reader the impression that the foot soldier is a very simple person that has a lack of education. We get the sense that the foot solider is very poor and has only joined in the army for the money as he did not have anything else to sell. 'Was out of work- had sold his traps' this shows that the foot solider presumes that the person he was facing on the opposite side was like him, out of work and he had sold all his belongings so this was not his choice but he was forced to join the war because of his circumstances.

Conclusion

The most he can conclude is yes: old-fashioned and curious war is!' as if he were observing some interesting but useless artefact in a museum. Sardonically, the speaker best expresses Hardy's views on war by what he omits from his argument. Because he balks at drawing the obvious conclusion, the reader is forced to do it for him and conclude that war is murderous and wrong. The way the solider speaks reflects the simple background and unrefined way of consideration on particular instance. 'I shot and he at me' also 'and killed him in his place'. This shows that he remembers clearly what happened with clarity, but the only time that he faltered during the poem was when he was trying to explain what happened. On a personal level that is why war is completely senseless. The best excuse or satisfaction of killing a man he can come up with is 'because he was my enemy, I killed him'. The meaninglessness of this response is evident by the effort the speaker must make to reassure him that such responding is lawful: 'Just so of course he was; that's clear enough.' Although he is relieved to find an explanation that seems to settle is moral dilemma, doubts continues to pester him.

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