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The Hero- Siegfried Sassoon

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Khushboo Ali

on 18 February 2014

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Transcript of The Hero- Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon:
The Hero

The Hero- Content of the poem
'Jack fell as he'd have wished,' the Mother said,
And folded up the letter that she'd read.
'The Colonel writes so nicely.' Something broke
In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
She half looked up. 'We mothers are so proud
Of our dead soldiers.' Then her face was bowed.

Quietly the Brother Officer went out.
He'd told the poor old dear some gallant lies
That she would nourish all her days, no doubt.
For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes
Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,
Because he'd been so brave, her glorious boy.

He thought how 'Jack', cold-footed, useless swine,
Had panicked down the trench that night the mine
Went up at Wicked Corner; how he'd tried
To get sent home, and how, at last, he died,
Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
Except that lonely woman with white hair.
About Sassoon

8th September 1886- 1st September 1967
Intended message of the poem
tear off the mask from the face of the war
real picture of the war, nothing glorious
anti-war
General tone and atmosphere of the poem
Poetic Devices present in the poem
A-
'Jack fell as he'd have wished
,' the Mother
said,
A- And folded up the letter that she'd
read
.
B- 'The Colonel writes so nicely.' Something
broke
B- In the tired voice that quavered to a
choke.
C- She half looked up. 'We mothers are so
proud
C- Of our dead soldiers.' Then her face was
bowed.

A- Quietly the Brother Officer went
out.
B- He'd told the poor old dear some
gallant

lies
A- That she would nourish all her days, no
doubt.
B- For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak
eyes
C- Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with
joy
,
C- Because he'd been so brave, her glorious
boy
.

A-
He thought how
'
Jack
', cold-footed, useless
swine
,
A- Had panicked down the trench that night the
mine
B- Went up at Wicked Corner; how he'd
tried
B- To get sent home, and how, at last, he
died
,
C- Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to
care

C- Except that lonely woman with white
hair.
Content
About Sassoon
Content of the poem
Intended message
Who is the message for and who is it from?
General tone and atmosphere & how it is created
Form, rhyme, rhythm
Imagery used & other poetic devices
Game!
Who is the message for and who is it from
Imagery & use of metaphors and similies
"
Shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy"
(sassoon, 11)
"Cold footed, useless swine "
(sassoon, 13)
"Had panicked down the trench that night the mine"
(Sassoon, 14)
"Blown to small bits, and no one seemed to care, except that lonely women with white hair'
(Sassoon 17,18)
Nick name "Mad Jack" for his bravery in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers
June 1917, wrote a letter to the times about the war
Robert Graves saved Sassoon from being court-martialised, by saying he was shell shocked
Sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital where he met Wilsen Owen
Posted to Palestine, returned to France, was wounded again and spent his time in England
Begins with a 'fake feeling' of pride, becomes melancholic in the last stanza
First line “Jack fell”, suggests proud, heroic death,
“we mother’s are so proud,” continues the feeling of pride “Of our dead soldiers,” Usage of the word dead gives a darker tone to the whole thing.

“Then her face bowed, Quietly the brother soldier went out,” Imagery it creates a quite sad looking scene, helping transition the poem of from the fake pride to the melancholic atmosphere.



General Tone and Atmosphere
“Poor old dear, gallant lies,” This line completely destroys any positivity felt in the first stanza, by claiming that Jack did not die a heroic death.

“He thought of how Jack, cold-footed, useless swine,” usage of the words swine creates quite a harsh imagery, as swine is a relatively harsh word relative to the words already used in the poem.

“And at last he died […] but no one seemed to care, except that woman with the white hair,” This last line is a very sad one, because it depicts how, unlike everyone was claiming, no one sang songs to your name after you died. Only some ‘poor old woman’ would care.
Full transcript