'Come On, Come back'

HideShow resource information
"Left by the ebbing tide of battle..."
This is a strong metaphor - when the tide goes out it leaves random objects stranded - people. It shows the struggle of conflict.
1 of 31
"The girl soldier..."
A juxtaposition is created here. It creates an unsettling and uncomfortable feeling. Using the word 'girl' rathen than woman makes the soldier sound weak and soldiers are stereotypically a man.
2 of 31
Her name is open to alternative interpretation: a) 'Vaudeville' - C19th theatre entertainment. Is it suggesting that women are entertainment? b) The French term 'eau de vie' - meaning 'the water of life.'-creates irony-later on in the poem she drowns
3 of 31
The repetition emphasises the isolation - links to the word 'moonlight.'
4 of 31
"...midnight in the moonlight..."
The alliteration emphasises the moonlight and creates an eerie setting - foreshadows death.
5 of 31
"...Memel Conference..."
The imaginary conference on killing suggests how seriously war is still taken in the future.
6 of 31
"...human exterminators..."
This is a chilling, clinical and impersonal word. It sounds like pest control and dehumanises the victims - humiliating.
7 of 31
"Has left her just alive only her memory is dead for evermore. She fears and cries, Ah me why am I here?"
This section is very emotive - shows how mentally drained she is. The word 'Ah' is phonetically written - it adds to the atmosphere. Maybe she is begging to die - it makes her more of a person, as she is now speaking. But-no speech marks-no voice=iso
8 of 31
"Rising, staggering...seeming miles...rutted meadow..."
This emphasises Vaudevue's struggle and confusion. She is clearly losing energy. The phrase 'rutted meadow' could be a metaphor for the emotional struggle - the ground is difficult to walk over. This contrasts with the sand at the end of the stanza.
9 of 31
"The sand beneath her feet is cold and damp and firm to the waves' beat."
The regular rhyme and the 'firm' sand makes her feel comforted and supported. The physical qualities of the sand contrasts with Vaudevue's vagueness. The 'waves' beat' shows a way out is offered.
10 of 31
"...as a child, an idiot, as one without memory -"
Using the comparison of a 'child' exaggerates her mental ability. The phrase of 'one without memory' shows that she can't remember the dangers of water.
11 of 31
"She strips her uniform off, strips, stands and plunges..."
Maybe when she strips her unifrom off, it represents how she has stripped down to herself. The action of 'stands' suggests that she thought about her next step but 'plunges' suggests a sudden decision and movement.
12 of 31
"...adorable lake."
The adjective used is unexpected - it makes the lake sound innocent, inviting and appealing.
13 of 31
"A ribbon of white moonlight..."
This is a very smooth and peaceful image - it sounds tempting and a final escape. The colour 'white' could symbolise surrendor or foreshadow death.
14 of 31
"...moonlight...moony track..."
The repetition of 'moon' could symbolise deathh or maybe the light at the end of the tunnel. The 'moony track' almost sounds unreal and dreamlike.
15 of 31
"...Are black as her mind, her mind is as secret from her... secret as profound..."
These words emphasise the damage that has been done to Vaudevue - she doesn't know what's happening or what she's doing. She has lost her sanity and her mind is 'black' - dead. The rep. of 'secret' restates that she has lost her mind.
16 of 31
Ending the stanza with this word hints that something horrific will happen - it foreshadows her death.
17 of 31
"...ominous mind..."
The repetition of this word creates isolation and reminds readers of what she will do.
18 of 31
"...a treacherous undercurrent seizing her..."
The personification of the undercurrent adds to the surreal atmosphere. It suggests that the water is taking her and is in contrast to the description of the lake being 'adorable.' It shows that now, there is no going back.
19 of 31
"...icy-amorous embrace..."
There is an oxymoron here, which adds to the eerie atmosphere.
20 of 31
"...swiftly severing..."
The sibilance here encourages the reader to read this phrase at a fast pace and reflects the speed of the death and the sound of the water waves. There is a double meaning to 'severing'-the undercurrent cuts through the water-also cuts off Vau, life
21 of 31
"('Come on, come back')"
The fact that this phrase is in brackets, could show how he is singing it to himself. Either way she goes, she will be doomed.
22 of 31
"Waits...waiting, whilling...whittling..."
The alliteration of Ws slows down the pace, which reflects the time going slowly whilst he is waiting.
23 of 31
"Whittling a shepherd's pipe from the hollow reeds."
This image doesn't fit in withe the rest of the poem - it is a strangely innocent image for a soldier who is waiting to kill someone.
24 of 31
"In the chill light of dawn..."
The word 'chill' could reflect the dead bodies and death. The phrase of 'light of dawn' could suggest hope or maybe she is safe from her mind.
25 of 31
" 'Come on, come back.' "
There are no brackets around the song title this time - suggests it is being sung louder.
26 of 31
This is significant that her name stands alone: a) shows the lack of women soldiers b) maybe it reflects a Eulogy - starting with her name c) or she is alone d) her name is also in the first stanza = cycle of life e) insignificance of soldiers' name.
27 of 31
"Sleeps on, stirs not, hears not the familiar tune..."
This is image reflects how peaceful she is - maybe even more than when she was alive.
28 of 31
"...all the troops of all the armies..."
This shows that enemies have some things in common.
29 of 31
"For she had sung it too..."
This is ironic that Vaudevue sang the same song as her enemy.
30 of 31
"Marching to Austerlitz, Come on, come back."
'Marching to Austerlitz' reminds the reader of the beginning of the poem, when Vaudevue had just survived the battle. The poem ends sadly - Vaudevue won't come back.
31 of 31

Other cards in this set

Card 2


"The girl soldier..."


A juxtaposition is created here. It creates an unsettling and uncomfortable feeling. Using the word 'girl' rathen than woman makes the soldier sound weak and soldiers are stereotypically a man.

Card 3




Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4




Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


"...midnight in the moonlight..."


Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards



Thanks so much for this! I've basically been left to anaylse 15 poems by myself at home with no idea of how to do it because we have a teacher that doesn't actually teach! This helped me so much:)

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all AQA Anthology resources »