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Copy of The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy

A Lesson Plan in English III
by

Dan Eigenberg

on 16 February 2016

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Transcript of Copy of The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy

The Man He Killed
"Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have set us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!
"But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.
"He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Off-hand like--just as I--
Was out of work--had sold his traps--No other reason why.
I shot him dead because--
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That's clear enough; although
Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat, if met where any bar is,
Or help to half a crown.
What is the video all about?
Why do people engage in war?
What are the possible causes of war?
What are its effects?
Do you consider war as a purely inhumane and senseless waste of life? Do you see any positive effect(s) brought about by war?
If our country were suddenly involved in a full-scale war, would you volunteer for military service? Why? Why not?
What if the government obliges you to join? What would you do?
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
Thomas Hardy, an English novelist and poet, is famous for "Far in a Madding Crowd." He wrote novels about county people living in Wessex, his name for the rural and quiet county of Dorset in Southwest England.
He studied to be an architect, and has also written prose fiction and eventually published many novels. Hardy enjoyed commercial success, but his work proved controversial, and his publishers continually tried to tone it down.
He had always preferred poetry-and believed that he was better as a writer in this form. Then he wrote verse throughout his life. Thomas Hardy was married twice- his first marriage, long and mostly unhappy, was to Emma Gifford. They married in 1874.
During the Boer War (1899-1902), Hardy was accused of pro-Boer loyalties (despite being English, he was accused of siding with the Afrikaans). During this time, most war poems were full of violence and blood lust.
However, Hardy focused his poetry on individual tragedy instead of the glories of war. Hardy's poetry would greatly influence the great poets of World War 1 - Like Wilfred Owens and his contemporaries.
Rhyme Scheme
Elements of Poetry
The poem follows an Abab rhyme scheme by stanza. In this poem, the rhyme scheme helps the effectiveness of the poem by adding flow. Additionally, the use of rhyme in the 3rd stanza, highlights both the speaker's uncertainty as well as his own questioning about the killing.
Syntax - the use of the dash
Similar to the use of repetition, the author uses the dash to display his uncertainty with his deeds. It is evident that the speaker is trying to piece together exactly WHY he killed this man. After determining that he cannot decide why his "foe" had to die other than that they were foes, the syntax draws our attention to the similarities between himself and the man he killed
Tone
The speaker of the poem uses neutral diction; however, he seems generally to condemn the fact that, in war, he was made to kill someone for no other reason than that they were told they were "enemies".
Repetition
In the third stanza, the poet uses repetition to emphasize his hesitancy and uncertainty with his deeds. The repetition of "because" shows that he is struggling to find a reason why he killed this man. Similarly, the repetition of the word "foe" emphasizes that the speaker cannot think of any other reason why he killed this man. Truthfully, he's not entirely sure.
Meiosis
After expressing his regret for killing this man, who he seems to be very similar to, the speaker drastically understates the seriousness of what he has done. By referring to murder in war as "quaint and curious", the speaker draws attention to the absurdity and the tragedy of the situation.
This time I want you to stay with your "element" groups. Each group will be given a worksheet. Fill in the worksheet with examples of the literary element assigned to you. Be ready to present your findings to the class.
Thematic Connections to All Quiet on the Western Front
Arguments against war:
In the final stanza of the poem, the speaker refers the war as "quaint and curious" in order to emphasize the absurdity of the situation.
Similarly, Paul and his comrades find themselves similarly questioning the rationale behind the war, and emphasizing the absurdity of war.
While discussing the cause of war, Kropp comments, "It's queer, when one thinks about it...we are here to protect our fatherland. And the French are over there to protect their fatherland. Now who's in the right?" (203).
The question that both Kropp and "Man He Killed" ask is ultimately - what is the purpose of all of this fighting, bloodshed, and horror?
Everyone is the same:
The speaker, like Paul, has come to the realization that the "enemy" is someone that is no different than he is.
The poem brings up the question of why...and the ultimate determination is because he was told that the "other" is the enemy
"I shot him dead because —
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That's clear enough; although
Similarly, Paul, while stuck in the trench with Gerard, the Frenchman, desperately tries to save the man's life. Despite the fact that this man is his enemy, Paul tries to reassure the man, "camerade, camerade, camerade," he says.
Paul connects with this dying man as a human, a brother, a "camerade" rather than seeing him as a foe. In this instant he only sees a dying man - not a dying enemy.
The question that both men seem to be asking is - how are these men really so different from me?
Everyone is the same:
The speaker, like Paul, has come to the realization that the "enemy" is someone that is no different than he is.
He humanizes this man that he has killed by imaging the series of events that led him to be killed:
"He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
No other reason why

Similarly, Paul, upon closer inspection of the Russian prisoners notices that it is "strange to see the enemies...so close up...They have faces that make one think - honest peasant faces...just as kindly as our own peasants in Friesland (190).
Paul compares these prisoners to the common German peasants he is used to. Both speakers emphasize the sameness between "us" and "them"
Analyzing Elements of Poetry
Directions: On a whole sheet of paper, identify, define and analyze the elements of poetry as they are used in the poem "The Poison Tree" by William Blake.
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I water'd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree
Using the elements of poetry, write a four-quatrain poem as a response to Thomas Hardy's poem.
Assignment
The poem "The Man He Killed" has presented important insights about war. Using a PowerPoint slide (if not possible, a clean piece of cartolina will do), interpret the message of the poem through a poster-slogan. Kindly work in pair. Look for someone you are comfortable to work with. You will be given 20 minutes to work on this. When you are done, display your work on the projector (on the board) and be ready to explain your interpretation.
Directions: Put yourself on our speaker's place. What if the war is over and you discovered that the man you thought you killed was alive and is now recovering in a hospital. What would you do?

Present a dramatic presentation on the given "What If..." situation.

Work with your groups. This will be presented next meeting. The criteria for grading will be the following:

Criteria for Grading
IO (N ) 20 pts
at least 6 lit devices - 10 pts
Explanation (N) - 10 pts
ACT 10 pts.
Accurate and complete "chunking" of text
S - 10 pts. A concise statement of meaning
Background/author info - 10 pts
Thematic connection 10 pts.
Time Frame (10 min.)
If we had met at a tavern, instead of in war, we would have sat down to drink together
But we were soldiers on opposite sides, and when we met face to face, we shot at each other, and I killed him
He thought that he would enlist just like I thought I would enlist.
Perhaps he was out of work like I was, and he sold his belongings. Perhaps he did this for no other reason than those
I killed him because...because he was my enemy. My enemy, of course he was. That's clearly the reason I killed him...although...
Yes, how strange war is. You shoot and kill someone that, if you met at any bar, you'd buy him a drink or help him out and loan him some money.
Final Statement of Meaning
In "The Man He Killed", Thomas Hardy uses repetition of key words and well-placed meiosis to convey his uncertainty of the reasons why he killed a man in war. The repetition in the third stanza reinforces the speaker's uncertainty because he cannot think of a reason why he killed this man. The use of meiosis in the final stanza drives the point home that murder in the name of war is so absurd that he killed a man that he otherwise would have treated to a drink.
Works Cited
"Thomas Hardy | British Writer."
Encyclopedia
Britannica Online
. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
Participation - 10 pts
All group members participate in the delivery of the presentation
Quality of presentation - 20 pts
Full transcript