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Which section of Ted Hughes ‘Grief’s for Dead Soldiers’ did you find the most interesting? Explain your answer by a close examination of this section and a comparison with the ideas he expresses in the rest of the poem.

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Introduction

Which section of Ted Hughes 'Grief's for Dead Soldiers' did you find the most interesting? Explain your answer by a close examination of this section and a comparison with the ideas he expresses in the rest of the poem. This poem is made up of three sections, each describing a different type of grief. This is why the title contains the word "grief's" because, although it is grammatically incorrect, it is saying that there is more than one type of grief. Each section describes a different type of grief, national grief, personal grief and, the one I found most interesting, practical grief. The first section, national grief, is about the unveiling of a cenotaph and the official silence that accompanies this. This section is mainly to glorify the dead and commemorate the soldiers that fought in the war. The first thing I noticed about this section is that it has very complicated vocabulary. Some of the complicated words used are, "cataclysm", "cenotaph" and "epitaph". He also uses many superlatives such as "monstrousness", "magnificent" and "stupendous". The reason Hughes does this is to make this section seem greater and more powerful. ...read more.

Middle

This is like their love, it was very strong but now it is broken lashes back, "blinding and severing". This is a very clever simile because it also shows that the stronger the rope, or the love, the more damage can be made when it is broken. The third section, practical grief, was the section I found most interesting, it describes the clean-up that has to take place after the war is over, the burial of the many dead soldiers littering the war zones. The reason why I like this section over the others was because it is very different from any other war poem that I have read. Instead of trying to glorify the war or make it seem emotional this sections deals with what has to happen after the war. It is very crude in this way but that is why I found it interesting. One of the phrases that show this crudeness is, "the valley full of dead men". This is a metaphor because there isn't literally a valley full of dead men. By using the word valley full Hughes makes quite a disgusting image. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows you what the burial party has to deal with; even just watching them working would be enough to horrify a normal person. The biggest problem, according to Hughes, for the burial party is the hot weather and the "black lively flies", "lively" because of all the rotting bodies lying around. Throughout the whole poem Hughes uses a lot of metaphors and similes. An interesting simile in this section is when Hughes compares the dead bodies to waiting brides, "the dead wait like brides". Nowadays the only similarity between a dead body and a bride would be that the dead have white skin and brides wear a white dress but Hughes could have also compared the two because he thought they were both powerless, laying there waiting to be taken. This last section is my favourite section because, in it, Hughes is showing you that war does not finish when one side has won, lots more work has to be done after it. It also makes you realise how horrible war is and even started me wondering whether war is worth all this. Not only is the meaning and the content of this poem good but Hughes also manages to get it all across to the reader using lots of interesting metaphors and similes, he also includes complex imagery and descriptions. ...read more.

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