THE MANHUNT

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  • The Manhunt Simon Armitage
    • 1: War affects relationships
      • Arrangement into 13 couplets
        • Initially, these couplets rhyme and express somewhat of a positive vibe, but then transpire into a lack of rhyme and a disconnect between each consecutive line, as the couple feel disconnected.
        • First couplet "passionate nights and intimate days" reflects on their devotion towards each other in the past that ceases to be mentioned again; a thing of the past. The wife stays vigilant in healing her husband.
        • "Laura's poem."
      • "the blown hinge of his lower jaw"
        • Use of metaphor to show it's physically broken and in pain, but metaphorically is unable to communicate to her his feelings.
      • "Only then"
        • Anaphora repeated throughout to show the slow healing process in "hunting" for her husband.
    • 2: Dehumanized
      • "Handle and hold/ The damaged porcelain collar-bone."
        • Synantic parallels (handle, hold) give the poem emphasis on the delicate treatment of the soldier, as if he's literally fragile.
        • Oxymoronic "damaged porcelain" makes this seem unnatural and wrong.
        • Enjambment shows an everlasting agony.
      • "the parachute silk of his punctured lung."
        • Comparison of a damaged, unusable parachute emphasizes how the soldier feels useless and damaged.
        • Lexical field of 'silk' and 'porcelain' show how precious materials have been ruined by war.
        • EMOTIONAL FREEFALL; unable to stop himself and needs his wife to help him. Contrasts a masculine position in society, especially for soldiers.
    • 3: Traumatized
      • "Foetus of metal buried beneath his chest"
        • His wound is part of him, as a fetus baby is one with their mother. Suggests the soldier's injuries will be lifechanging like the birth of a child.
        • Irony is that a fetus is the start of life and happiness; a bullet is the ending of life and sadness.
        • Oxymoron of cold, hard metals and a warm, lovable fetus. He may feel effeminate or abused by war.
      • "A sweating, unexploded mine/ Buried deep in his mind"
        • His mind is metaphorically a dangerous, militarized territory.
        • Can both explode at any time and also be the distress of the soldier, where he may explode at any time.
        • "Sweating" creates a sense of fear and tension, accentuated by enjambment that simulates the flow of sweat.
    • CONTEXT: Written for a documentary during the Bosnian conflict. Known as 'Laura's poem' initially in the perspective of the wife.

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