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GCSE English Literature - Power and Conflict Poetry AQA > Remains > Flashcards

Flashcards in Remains Deck (68)
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What does the poem begin with and what does it imply?

'On another occasion'

This implies that this account is not the only unpleasant story the solider has in his memory


What does the solider feel at the end of the poem that is suggested by the final line?

That he will always have blood on his hands


What are the three themes in Remains?

Guilt, Conflict and Life and Death


How is the theme of Guilt shown?

The speaker is haunted by the guilt of taking a man's life. He is upset by the fact the man might be innocent.

'probably armed, possibly not'


How is the theme of Conflict shown?

The speaker is acting under orders and is engaged with combat in another country

'dug behind enemy lines,'
'not left for dead in some distant, sun-stunned, sand-smothered land'


How is theme of Life and Death shown?

The looter is killed by rounds of bullets.

'I see every round as it rips through his life'
'I see broad daylight on the other side'


What's the reason for the interpretation 'The solider are nameless and in many ways identical' in the line 'Well myself and somebody else' and 'are all of the same mind'?

The use of ‘somebody else’ suggests that these could be any men, as if the soldiers are as disposable as the looter they have killed. The lack of names makes them anonymous and perhaps suggests that this is the way they are regarded by others.


What's the reason for the interpretation 'The soldiers work under orders and do as they are told, as if they have been programmed to behave in this way' in the line 'Well myself and somebody else' and 'are all of the same mind'?

The phrase ‘are all of the same mind’ shows that they respond to the looter in the same way. This suggests that they have been trained, and their act of opening fire is one that is programmed into them. They do not behave as individuals.


How many stanzas are in Remains?



What are the first seven stanzas in?

Largely unrhymed quatrains


How many lines are in the last stanza?



What is the poem written as?

A monologue


What effect does slang and colloquial language have on the poem?

It creates the sense that speaker is directly telling us his story


How does the poem reference Macbeth?

Bloody hands and sleep


What are the similarities between 'Remains' and 'Exposure'?

Both are about soldiers in wartime.

Both present a first-person narrative.

Both provide graphic images of death and war.


What are the differences between 'Remains' and 'Exposure'?

Remains has a faster paced rhythm, Exposure has a more measured pace, reflecting the way the soldiers are waiting.

Remains is about modern warfare, Exposure is about World War One.

Remains has a structure which disintegrates towards the end, Exposure uses a more regular structure.

Exposure is written in the present tense about an experience that is unfolding. Remains is also written mostly in the present tense, but is about a past experience, showing the lasting trauma of the experience of war for this soldier.


What is the peom about?

Modern warfare, unnamed but recognisable as The Gulf War, Afghanistan or similar


What is the poem presented through?

The point of view of a solider suffering post-traumatic stress disorder


What imagery is used in the poem?

Brutal images of shooting - 'rips', 'guts'


What do the repeated lines emphasise?

Repeated nightmares


Link to unlock all poems?


What does the poem explore?

The impact of war on mental health


What is the poem based off?

An account of a real solider


What is there a contrast of in the poem?

The casualness of death
The horror of memories


What does the poet raise questions about in the poem?

The way men in war are conditioned to put aside their personal emotions when they commit acts of violence or destruction


What is there a sense of in the poem?

There is a sense of the injustice of conflict.
The looter was potentially not dangerous, but lost his life anyways


The solider in Remains is conditioned to follow orders, like the soldiers in:

Bayonet Charge
Charge of the Light Brigade


What are key ideas explored in Remains?

Injustice of war
The contrast between war and its aftermath


What does Armitage use to show that the speaker is desensitised (made less sensitive) to war?

Vague and colloquial language


What is an example of vague language in the poem?

"This looter"