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Comparison between 'The Hero' and 'The Soldier' (Poems) - English Lit.

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Introduction

Humoon?s Comparison Essay: ?The Soldier?, ?The Hero? In this essay I will be comparing two poems; ?The Soldier? and ?The Hero?. ?The Hero? is about an officer who delivers a consolatory letter to a grieving mother concerning the death of her soldier son, Jack. She is proud of her son?s glorious sacrifice but, on leaving, the officer reflects on Jack?s cowardice and incompetence in the line. The poem, ?The Soldier?, is about the honour men receive when fighting for their beloved nation, England. It expresses patriotic views of war and the idea that England is its on heaven. The different effects the writers use along with their difference in opinions will be explored in this essay. In the poem, ?The Hero? the title itself helps to emphasise the poems purpose. The ?hero? of the poem is, of course, ironically termed. Jack is the kind of malingering coward who earned the contempt of his comrades on the battlefield, especially in a well-disciplined regiment like the Royal Welch, in which Sassoon served. The writer has chosen this phrase to clearly emphasise the types of dehumanising effects war had on soldiers in the front line. ...read more.

Middle

“‘We mothers are so proud - Of our dead soldiers”. The mother speaks as if for all British soldiers: perhaps the consolation that she finds in doing so is in subsuming herself in the collective loss of all the mothers of the nation. At any rate, these words do seem more sentimental than authentic: their clichéd expression helping to repress the great grief of the woman. Also, I can tell from this that even if the mother expresses her positive thoughts, she still has regrets. This is evident in “Then her face bowed”. The word bowed shows her almost hesitant way of thinking. The writer has used this aspect to show the contrast of families’ ideologies from the start of the war to near its inception. “Brimmed with joy, because he’d been so brave, her glorious boy”. The alliteration in these lines, expressing the devastation of the mother, is used very effectively by the writer. The effect of the repeated ‘b’s is to convey her restrained tears and give a suggestion of tremulously spoken words— of repressing the need to cry. ...read more.

Conclusion

This gives me the impression that he thought that dying for your country was an honour. He resembles this level of honour by implying that a ?British heaven? would emerge in the foreign land. However Sassoon has an almost completely different opinion on war. He expresses his thoughts through the dehumanising effects of war and the downgrading of the soldiers? emotional status. Even though many, including myself will agree with Sassoon?s thoughts, we still have to be aware that both poems give a biased opinion of war as they do not explore both sides of the argument. Therefore I can tell ideas on war can change from person to person and that these ideas have changed form the past century. It is clear to me that Sassoons ideologies have developed along the years to a point where most people will agree with him. Sassoon shows the emotions families go through once they hear the painful truth of death. In my opinion, both poems are successful in delivering their message across to the reader. Many of these poems at that time where used to either motivate men (in the case of ?The Soldier?) or discourage men from fighting as the true identity of war is revealed to them (in the case of ?The Hero?. ...read more.

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