The Manhunt - Simon Armitage

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  • The Manhunt
    • War
      • "sweating, unexploded mine"
        • reflects the dangers of war and the constant fear people experience
      • "the bullet had finally come to rest"
        • shows the horror experienced by him due to war
        • possibly shows the ending of war when the bulllet comes to rest
      • title
        • "The Manhunt" gives the idea of war being about hunting, as if its a sport, or a game, although it has damaging and longlasting effects on many peoples lives
      • structure and form
        • in each stanza: line one is about love, line two is about war
          • shows how war overpowers love and is destructive and life ruining
    • Love
      • "passionate nights and intimate days"
        • starts by showing how close they used to be before the war
      • structure and form
        • occasional rhyming couplets - reflects the closeness they once had and aim to read again, shows they travel together, as a pair, even now he is distant
      • "handle and hold" "mind and attend"
        • shows how well she treats her husband, although he is emotionally unavailable and cannot do the same in return, showing the true love and care she has for him
      • "and feel the hurt/ of his grazed heart"
        • although he couldn't communicate his emotions, she began to understand the damage and pain he had experienced
      • "Then, and only then, did I come close."
        • final line - shows the amount of work and effort she had to put in t finally get him to open up to her and reconnect
        • ends with full stop - shows how final the statement is, possible reflects how she has begun to feel some closure on the situation now that she is closer to her husband again
    • Context
      • written about a man injured in the Bosnian war
      • the poem is written from the perspective of a woman who is married to an injured soldier who is emotionally unavailable after he experienced the trauma
      • deals with the idea of PTSD and the effects of those around people dealing with it
    • Pain and Suffering
      • "blown hinge of his lower jaw"
        • part of the war related injuries he experienced - physical pain
        • possibly shows how he was unable to communicate after the traumatic experience and couldn't speak about his emotions, creating emotional suffering from the build up of emotions
        • shows the shock he experienced, having his jaw dropped wide open, showing the extent of the shock he experienced, which would be life changing and cause a large amount of suffering
      • structure and form
        • in each stanza: line one is about love, line two is about war
          • reflects the damaging effect war had on their love, it  overpowered it and therefore left them both in a state of emotional pain and suffering as they lost each other
      • "every nerve in his body had tightened and closed"
        • he has become so overpowered by his trauma he has become closed off and emotionally unavailable, causing suffering for both him and his wife
        • physical pain from his injuries
      • "his broken ribs"
        • war related injuries
        • the protection around his heart has been destroyed, leaving him vulnerable and in pain, possibly causing him to have closed himself off and protect himself, affecting both him and his wife


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