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"You can't lie unless you learn to tell the truth." - Maituan

Bayonet Charge vs Futility

  • Date Submitted: 11/17/2013 11:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.1 
  • Words: 551
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Compare how the poets present the experience of soldiers
Whilst Bayonet Charge focuses on a more physical approach to war, Futility provokes a Philosophical response. By demanding an answer, Futility is able to act as a conductor of Owen’s own personal emotions. Yet, at the same time, it allows freedom of expression to the reader, which is achieved through the use of rhetorical questions. Letting the reader create an informed opinion is dramatically potent and consequently highly successful and works on many levels. On the other hand, Bayonet Charge portrays an account of fact – instead of provoking thought (like in Futility), it shows a more sudden realisation. This allows Hughes to be more direct in his writing, which separates the ideas behind each of the poems. Bayonet Charge depends on the physicalities, as opposed to Futility which is much more abstract. An image is created in Bayonet Charge that relays the horrors and turmoils of war. Being direct, enables Hughes to relate to the reader more because a war is primarily about physical attributes of a person rather than their emotions.
Throughout Bayonet Charge the soldier emphasises the ideals of being human and shows how these affect a person when placed in midst of conflict. The soldier has been disciplined, yet in the devastation cause by war reverts back to an individual human being. ‘The patriotic tear’ shows his ultimately idealist view on war, which was drilled into him by disciplinary acts from the army. However, an epiphany occurs, because no matter how much training, nothing could have prepared him for the terrors of war. Countering this, Futility searches for meaning, as well as, a point to existence. Owen is not against war but his apprehension comes from his view on death. He ponders the point of morality and the ethics involved a society, consequently suggesting that a soldier should not have to experience war if his efforts are in vain. ‘Are limbs, so dear achieved’ questions the point to...


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