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English Lit (Poetry) > The Man He Killed > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Man He Killed Deck (16):

Who is it by?

Thomas Hardy


When was it written?

1902 in the middle of the Second Boer War


What is the POV of the poem?

A working class soldier.


What were Hardy's opinions of the war?

He was against it, as the Boer's were just defending their home yet the British were trying to prove their power.


What is the style of the poem, what does this suggest?

Conversational/Chatty tone.
- Soldier is uneducated.
- He is talking to the 'dead' soldier as they have a lot more in common with each other.
- Attached to the dead soldier.


How are monosyllabic words used?
"I shot him dead."

"I shot him dead."
- Reflects the sound of a gun, which links to the theme of war and violence.
- Could be the sound that killed the soldier, it is stuck in his mind and he can't stop thinking about it.
- Simple language shows his little emotion towards the soldier.


In the poem, it changes from past to present tense, what does this suggest?

When it is in past tense:
- Keeps thinking about it.
- Justifying his actions as he thinks what he did is right.
When it is present tense:
- He has moved past.
- He knows he was wrong but it is in the past and he can't do anything about it.


How does the simplicity of the language develop?

Gets more complex/ more descriptive.
- At the start the soldier is refusing to think about the situation, the simple language shows little thought or emotion, which could also link to the shock of war and the state of despair he was in.
- Near the end there is a lot more description which shows that he is now being more accepting of the war and allowing himself to think about the situation with more thought and emotion. Also could show that he has developed as a person.


What does the rhyming pattern of ABAB suggest?

- He is being controlled, the little creativity and uniqueness of each line suggests that he himself is not able to think about it and is almost in a trance after the war.
- Some soldiers have PTSD after a war, which leaves them in a different mental state, this could have happened to the soldier which has affected him as a person and how he speaks.
- Reflects how he was being controlled as a soldier during the war.


What does the regular structure of the poem suggest?

That was is predictable and has a pattern to it, so the soldier isn't surprised.


What happens in stanza 4 with the timing?

Lots more pauses
- Shows the narrators realisation that the dead soldier could be very similar.


What happens in the last stanza with the narrators opinions?

He realises what the effect of war had on him,
- How he killed a man
- Exclamation shows the shock


Is there a battle between the soldier and his mind?

Yes, the overall conflict of him and the dead soldier could be a mask of the soldier and a battle between him and his conscience. There is a much deeper meaning to it.


What does the narrator want us to do?

Question ourselves, and everything around us.
- We believe that we are in the right with war but are we actually? Links to the fact that Hardy was against the Boer war and Britain's part in it.
- Also makes us question social class.
- Feel disappointed towards the soldier as nobody at that time thought it was wrong.


What does "off-hand" show?

He is a pawn in a game.


What link does the narrator make with the soldier? (2)

That they are the same, he relates to him "as he at me" as if they are both victims (either one could have died)