Mametz Wood

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  • Created by: Grace Roe
  • Created on: 20-05-12 14:58
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Compare how poets present the experience of soldiers in `Bayonet Charge'
(page 44) and one other poem from Conflict. (36 marks)
World war one was a great war, may people died young, this poem
empathises what these men felt whilst fighting for their country. Ted Hughes
was the son of a soldier who fought in world war one, he was one of 17 in his
regiment to return home, the rest died. This poem focuses on his father war
experience however it keeps the person in the poem as anonymous by using
`he' and `his' so that the poem could empathise soldiers on a universal scale
and what they all went through.
There are many ways in this poem that could show what the soldier
experienced one phrase that stands out is `suddenly he awoke and was
running' this phrase could suggest that the soldier feels as if he is living in a
nightmare hence using the word `awoke' to emphasise that he wants to be
able to fall asleep and be back in his safe place but every time he wakes up he
is `running' for his life hoping not to get shot. The poet may have used the
word `nightmare' to emphasise that even after the war his father had
nightmares about the war for a long time after, it stuck in his mind suggesting
that he had mental scars from this time in his life. He was lucking to be one of
seventeen to survive.
Using the phrase `bullets smacking the belly out of the air' illustrates the
extent of what the war could do to one person, this is a graphic and violent
description of bullets as if it was happening in slow motion emphasising the
sound that each bullet made using onomatopoeia in the word `smacking'
smacking can also be a violent action this further emphasises the trauma that
the war brought to the soldiers this obviously was a graphic memory for
Hughes father, this is displayed throughout the poem.
In Comparison to this `Mametz Wood' shows the effect of world war one on
the land in which the comrades fought in this particular place called `Mametz
Wood'. The emotional language in the stanza allows the reader to feel
sympathy for the farmers that made the awful discoveries of `bone',
`shoulder' and `skull', it could also be showing that they are being brought
back to the war itself, the bodies are still in the ground and this could suggest
that the War is still a scar on the people that fought in it as well as the earth in
which they fought for their lives.

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The graphic imagery of the other stanza allows the reader to understand the
experiences of the soldiers, many of them died horrible, undeserved deaths:
`The blown and broken bird's egg of a skull' this graphic phrase describes the
violent way that this `skull' has evidently been dislodged from the body, by
being `blown' up however this phrase is an oxymoron by using the phrase
`birds egg' to describe the skull because a skull is the strongest part of your
body, in the poem this using…read more


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