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Flashcards in Manhunt key quotes Deck (10)
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After the first phase

after passionate nights and intimate days,”


Semantic field of love in “passionate” and “intimate”, juxtaposing their relationship with the horrors of war, “after” repetition suggests relationship incomplete and builds suspense
lexis of time suggests the resurfacing of memories and true feelings (could also highlight how time can heal some wounds)


“frozen river which ran through his face,”


—> metaphor for flow of feelings which has stopped, bullet wound, (glacial imagery)
tears unable to flow, but also hope - ice can thaw, river separates wife+husband, pain/love cannot flow


‘And mind and attend

fractured rudder of shoulder-blade,”


—> fractured implies delicate and wounded / fragile imagery highlights Eddie’s tough yet easily damaged nature (in contrast to war where people must be strong willed)
—> imagery of the rudder reinforces Eddie’s inability to guide himself toward with his life anymore, thus he can only let his wife ‘mind and attend’ to him.
—> can also represent how he has no path to escape from his emotional trauma which was common for soldiers back in the Bosnian war where the 1995 massacre occurred


“the parachute silk of his punctured lung.”


—> punctured parachutes are useless just as he feels he is, alliterative and plosive p reinforces idea of violent injury, contrast
silk represents his state of mind


“the foetus of metal beneath his chest

where the bullet had finally come to rest.”


—>foetus suggests bullet has embedded itself (impeding healing), wound is part of him now, injury is life changing (like having a child), foetus is start of life while bullet is end (irony)
semantic field of warfare to directly juxtapose the imagery of child birth (life and death interlinked)
—>rhyme with previous line suggests bullet is in rightful place
-rest has connotations of death, idea of ‘dead’ bullet pushing the man closer to death (ironic)


“to a sweating, unexploded mine; buried deep in his mind, around which”


—>significant how deep mine is - wife must reach it, being aware she may set it off, mine is personified
‘sweating’ suggests stress and careful actions that speaker takes to reconnect with husband


“Then, and only then, did I come close”


—> she failed (damage of war is permanent), close and closed are imperfect rhymes which mutes ending


Manhunt lang and imagery

Manhunt structure


lang: - compressed and concise, strong metaphors, vivid imagery, lexical fields of injuries/body parts/military equipment
structure: 13 stanzas of varying lengths and rhymes - don’t fit (reflects soldiers life), first line of couplets detail physical injury + second emotional, body parts dehumanised just as soldiers are by war


Manhunt rhyme

  • begins with few rhyming couplets but this breaks down later on: makes poem feel disjointed and reflects theme of brokenness
  • lots of enjambment, with phrases being cut off or spilling into next line/stanza.
    Reflects that even with their strong bond, the poem feels wobbly and unpredictable


  • ‘Forgotten Heroes: The Not Dead’: Armitage wrote ‘The Manhunt’ for a 2007 documentary called ‘Forgotten Heroes: The Not Dead’ about military service-people who have returned to civilian life, and experience the lingering, often lifelong effects of sustained exposure to violence.
  • Laura and Eddie Beddoes: The poem is a dramatic monologue, written from the perspective of one of the documentary’s participant’s, Laura Beddoes. Her husband, Eddie, was injured in combat during a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia in 1997 and was discharged due to poor mental health, primarily severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Beddoes heralds his wife as ‘one of my biggest saviours, I really couldn’t function without her.
  • The effects of conflict: In the documentary Beddoes described himself as ‘a different person before [he] got shot’ at the age of 19. After being discharged from hospital, Beddoes described feeling ‘disabled, useless’.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: According to the NHS ‘someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.’ In the documentary, Laura describes the year her first child was born as ‘turbulent’ as the sound of a crying child brought about a violent reaction from her husband. Eddie describes having flashbacks as a result of burst balloons at a children’s party.