First 510 words of the document:
`Six Young Men', Ted Hughes, 1970s
Mainly creates a microcosm of a world war 1 experience from the point of view of a soldier.
In the form of a list, describes how four of these men were killed, the most memorable of which
(personally) is "This one, the very moment he was warned/ from potting at tincans in noman's
land/ Fell back dead with his rifle sights shot away".
The adult voice in the word "warned" accompanied with the fact that
this young man was playing a fun game add to his childlike innocence. It is this innocence which
makes his death in particular shows man's inhumanity to man as the German soldier who shot this
young man through his own rifle took no pity on his innocent ignorance to the dangers of
noman's land. Through Hughes' fluid narrative and lack of description in how the other men have
died, this image comes quite a shock to the reader, especially as Hughes' creates a cathartic
experience for the reader by taking us on a personal journey with these young men, we feel
connected with them and so feel empathy for them when we discover how they have died.
Iambic pentameter = mimic human heartbeat, brings the six young men back to life in this
poem, almost acts as the reader's heartbeat through feeling WITH the men. mimics natural
rhythm of human speech, emphasises Hughes' fluid narrative in the same way, also enforces the
idea that these young men were just average teenagers caught in the war, NOT men, and so
makes us empathise with the characters even more.
Form and structure of the stanzas = each stanza literally looks like a photograph in the shape
of the stanza itself (caligram) which enables the reader the visual the young men's situations. In
the case of the last death of the men, this becomes vivid and creates an emotive reaction in the
reader which is why this poem is so effective in portraying man's inhumanity to man.
`Black `ell', Miles Malleson, 1916
immediately banned by War Office = banned because it would be insensitive to show this during
a time when en were being slaughtered by the day.
Harold = "It isn't a soldier's job to get killed... it's his job to kill." Written half way through the war,
would think that the idea of fighting for your country and protecting your family would still be
somewhat alive, however this has no mention in Malleson's play. Having your only job to kill
sounds as though this character has been dehumanised of any human emotions and so doesn't
care if he kills another human. Emphasised by the stage direction "[Suddenly looking up]" sounds
like a robotic command, reinforces lack of human feeling and action.
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`The Manchester Guardian' essay, D. H. Lawrence, 18 August 1914
Shows Lawrence's remarkable insight, almost before the war had even begun, into the nature of
"There was neither ferocity, nor joy.. only a mechanical expressionless machine"
"All that remained of us a cold, metallic adherence to an iron machine."
"There were no individuals" all just parts of a machine that make the machine work i.e. the army
= HUGE focus on lack of human emotions and complete dehumanisation.…read more
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OR the heartbeat can be seen in the "young
soldiers" as they are still human and alive (haven't seen the war) whereas the veteran is old, and
emotionally dead because he has witnessed man's inhumanity to man.
mimics natural rhythm of human speech = helps emphasises Cole's matter of fact tone, creates
a more shocking impact when we discover the state of the young soldier at the end of a poem,
like a climax.…read more