How Conflit Is Presented in the Man He Killed and Drummer Hodge

Topics: South Africa, Kill, Poetry Pages: 3 (966 words) Published: November 6, 2012
How is conflict presented in the text you have structured?

Thomas Hardy's poem 'The Man He Killed' focuses on the senselessness and futility of war, where a man has killed another quite simply because they were fighting on opposing sides in a war. Thomas Hardy's "Drummer Hodge' is a poem that laments on the horrors of war. It particularly focuses on the personal tragedy of a young innocent boy from Hardy's Wessex. Drummer Hodge explores the theme of war and can be summarized as a young soldier who is slain in a foreign land, in this case South Africa during the Boer War. Despite the fact that both poems are written by Thomas Hardy, they both have different purposes. During the war, Thomas Hardy wrote a few poems. One of those is The Man He Killed. Through out the poem the person speaking is the writer himself. It is easy to suggest as the first line begins with “Had he and I but met”. This quotation shows that Thomas Hardy is talking about his own experience; I know this because it is in the first person. It is suggested that Thomas Hardy is thinking aloud to himself as his thoughts are personal. In the first verse he mentions “Nipperkin”; this straight away tells us that Hardy is a country boy because it’s a Dorset dialect. However, even though Drummer Hodge is also written by Thomas Hardy, he is no longer the speaker in the poem. In the poem it is not made clear who the speaker is exactly. But we consider that the speaker is someone who looks after Hodge. The unknown speaker is talking about Hodge’s death. “They throw in Drummer Hodge” hints that he is looking at the young country boy. The speaker has to be a man, because during that time it wasn’t a women’s job to be at war. In addition, it isn’t made clear who the speaker is talking to.

In The Man He Killed, Thomas Hardy begins the poem with “Had he and I but met”. The first stanza expresses the idea that the two men who fought, what would happen if they had met each other “by some old ancient inn”;...
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