Remains

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  • Created by: Jmsmcn
  • Created on: 02-10-17 15:36
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  • Remains
    • Form
      • There is no regular line length or rhye scheme making it sound like a story
      • The speakerr uses the first person plural but changes to the first person singular
        • This makes it more personal and sound like a confession
      • In the final couplet both lines has the same metre
        • This gives a feeling of finality and hints that the guilty will stay with him
      • "Then I'm home on leave"
        • Short simple sentence suggests he thinks when he goes home he will forget the terrible things he has seen
        • The suddenness of the line also hints at the speaker being confused
        • Untitled
      • "blink"
        • The stanza ending reflects the blinking
        • The enjambment carries you forward and the horror is still there when you reach the next stanza
      • "Sleep,", "Dream,"
        • Short word separated from the rest of the line by casurea sound like gun shots
      • "some distant, sun-stunned, sand-smothered land"
        • The violent parts of the compound adjectives show how the place is affected by war
        • The long line and the sibilance slow the pace and reflect the speaker's lack of clear thought
      • "my"
        • There is no collective responsibility - he feels fully responsible
      • "bloody hands"
        • Possible reference to Macbeth
          • After persuading her husband to kill Duncan Lady Macbeth sleepwalks and tries to wash imaginary blood from her hands
          • This hints that the speaker was unbalanced by his guilty like Lady Macbeth was.
      • "I"
        • Poetic voice switches to an "I". This is now more personal
    • Structure
      • The poem begins as if it is an amusing anecdote but it quickly turns into a graphic description of am man's death
      • There is a clear volta at the beginning of the 5th stanza where the soldier's tone, thoughts, and emotions are changed by guilt
      • "On another occasion"
        • Sounds like on series of stories, and the reader is listening in
      • "probably armed, possibly not."
        • There is doubt here which contrasts with the definite actions that follow
      • "open fire"
        • This comes as a surprise as the sudden violence does not fit the casual tone
      • "End of story, except not really"
        • This is the volta in the poem
        • The speaker's mood changes
      • "dug in behind enemy lines"
        • The metaphor compares the memory stuck in his mind to a soldier in a trench
      • "his bloody life"
        • Bloody could mean the man's blood
        • Or he could be swearing in anger
    • Graphic Imagery
      • The man's death is described in gory detail, with the implication that his gut have spilt out onto the ground
      • The imagery reminds the reader of the horror of war but it also shows how desensisited the speaker had bescome to violence and death
        • They had become part of his daily life
      • "it rips though his life"
        • This violent metaphor contrasts shockingly with the colloquial style of the first two stanzas
      • "broad daylight on the other side"
        • this is quite a grotesque exaggerated image
        • He says he can see straight through the bullet holes in the man's body
      • "his blood shadow stays on the street"
        • A visual reminder of death
        • It foreshadows the memories that are going to haunt him
    • Colloquial Language
      • The first 4 stanzas have a lot of chatty, familiar language which helps to make the poem sound like somebody telling a story
      • This language also trivializes the man's death
      • "legs it"
        • Colloquial expression - this makes it sound like a normal anecdote
      • "sort of inside out"
        • This is a childish description of the man's body
          • He is unable to process it in an adult way
      • "and tosses his guts back into his body./Then he's carted off in the back of a lorry"
        • Two very causal cold actions
        • There is no respect for the dead man, he is made to sound like a piece of rubbish
    • Repetition
      • Words are repeated to reflect the way the killing is repeated in the speaker's mind
      • "all", "all three", "three", "all"
        • The speaker is keen for the reader to know it was not just him
          • He feels guilty
      • "I see", "I see"
        • This emphasises the visual horror of the scene
      • "Probably armed, possibly not"
        • Repetition of line 4 shows he is replay the events in his mind
        • Hints at his inner turmoil
    • Feelings
      • Nonchalance
        • There is a very casual attitude to the whole event initially (it is anecdotal)
        • He is shot without warming and his body is carted off
      • Guilt
        • The speaker cannot get the memory out of his mind
        • He is tormented by the man - especially wondering if he was armed
        • The poem ends with the speaker accepting his guilt

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