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Bayonet Charge Analysis

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Jyoti Beghi

on 5 February 2015

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Transcript of Bayonet Charge Analysis

Bayonet Charge Analysis-By Jot
The poem consists of 3 stanzas.
1st Stanza:
It is about action and running. The solder is awake and running within the first 6 lines of the opening line. The flow that had been going on, in the first stanza has been broken by using a dash. This shows how the soldier is waking up to what is happening and slowly starting to think and realize.
2nd Stanza:
The second stanza is relatively slow in comparison to the first stanza. There is a use of punctuation to slow down the pace. It slows down to a more contemplative figure, questioning his actions before returning to the violence of the charge in the stanza. The stanza is shorter in comparison to the other two, to emphasize this charge in focus.
3rd Stanza:
By the last stanza,he knows he has to rush without thinking, towards his death...

-The images of nature are juxtaposed with its violent images. This suggests that war is a disruptive force on our surroundings. The fields where farmers would grow crops, has now turned into a battlefield. The use of "hare" on line 16 represents death. The use of "yellow" connotates happiness, however this is contradicting itself by placing it next to "hare".
-Line 10 has a clock metaphor which symbolizes countries and the universe with no emotions. The universe continues to live however the soldier is mortal and will eventually die. The clock will continue to tick away- the individual is a insignificant part of the whole process.
-The similie used in line "12" suggests that the soldier isnt really thinking clearly and his thoughts are all over the place. He is infact "listening" (line13) and so questioning himself for justification for the conflict, which he clearly cannot find. This suggests that Hughes is commenting on the absense of reason and rational thought in war. He is unsure about why a war is arisen in the first place.
The use of 3rd person pronoun is there to describe the soldier and help keep him anonymous. This helps the readers portray this "soldier" as a universal figure and not specifically one soldier.
The repetition of H in the first stanza suggests that the soldier is heavy breathing throughout the charge. The excitement and fear had both kicked in.
As the poem continues on, we can notice that the pace is also slowing down as well. The soldier starts to realise his actions and what he is doing. He starts of with "running" (line 1), to "plunged", towards the hedge in which he has no control over. He is getting tired, and getting close to his death. (line 19)
Line 20 lists many grand themes of conflict. They are some reasons in which why people go to war in the first place. This line ends with "etcetra" which suggests that the speaker in the poem can not be bothered to finish listing these themes and that the soldier does not value them anymore.

Background Info/Subject
-The poem tends to focus on a nameless soldier from the first world war.
-The poem describes how the processes of capturing the enemies trench transforms a soldier from a living-thinking person, to a dangerous weapon of war.
-It portrays thoughts and feelings of an unnamed soldier, charging an enemy position in WW1
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