AQA GCSE English literature (9-1): Poetry: Power and Conflict: Bayonet Charge

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Born in 1930 and died in 1998
Grew up in the countryside of Yorkshire- lost most of population
Passionate about animals and nature
Devoted to poetry from a young age, despite lack of income
Poet and children’s writers
Father served in WW1
Obsessed with astrology
Admiralty of Wilfred Owen Poetry
Inspired by Father after war
Poet Laureate, 1984- 1998
Surface meaning
Stanza 1- Soldier wakes up, charging towards enemy with bayonet and gun in hand
Stanza 2- Suddenly stops to contemplate what he is doing
Stanza 3- Hare found caught up in the midst
Difficult of getting through the poet- as soldier struggle the structural sludge , empathise with the situation
Deeper meaning
Indescribable horror of war
Ideas vs. reality
War is so terrible that you cannot describe it
Horror of war is indescribable
Begins in the middle of action, something before we are not aware, confused and unsure of what has happen, empathy with soldier
“raw…raw “
REPETITION, 1- Difficulty in expressing the moment, reflect shock he has waking up into charge and stuttering, war is so horrific that he cannot explain it
2- Tim Kendall- similarity between the topic of Wilfred Owen Spring Offensive (lots of repetition in temperature, warm hot sun, burned, lot of similarity between this and bayonet charge in first two lines, repeated word, illusion, lots of similarity, similar word with temp. (flame , cold), Hugh’s has to sound like of Owen, everything he knows come form Owen, forced to explain it by someone was there, even gifted Hugh s cannot explain it
“Was he the and pointing that second?…mid stride. Then”
CAESURA, forces reader like soldier to stop and think, combined with enjambment to create chaos
“Then the shot slashed furrows…There up”
ENJAMBMENT, creates disjointed and unorganised effect, reflect the soldier waking in up into chaos and disorder
“rolled like a flame…numb as a smashed arm”
SIX SIMILES, comparison, don’t know how to described the moment but to compare it to something you can understand, it is impossible to describe, war is so terrible he cannot describe it , cannot explain what it is
“His terror’s touch dynamite”
ALLITERATION, turned into a killing machine/ weapon, driven purely by terror
“hot.. Raw…stumbling.. smashed”
EMOTIVE VOCABULARY, overload, overwhelm reader reflecting how the soldier feels
MOCKING TONE, and so on, criticises patriotic values soldier have, meaningless in the heat of battle, devastation, challenge that patriotism are really away form the war
“line 12-15”
SEMANTIC FIELD, running like a man would run like a man in stress, wants readers to struggle through power, complexity and confusion, complex language somehow relate
“cold clockwork of the stars”
CONSONANCE, nature has no interest, was it destined by star, or power of government, neither interested, nobody care, suggest soldiers are cog in a machine
“patriotic tear brimmed his eye…like molten iron from the centre of his chest”
SIMILE, expressed the war in the original patriotism has been shift aside for sheer panic
“Bullets smacking the belly of the air …yellow hare”
IMAGERY/ PERSONIFICATION, effect war has on nature, air symbolises nature, damage done on nature, understand, hare is another reface to nature victim, Animal lover, yellow link to cowardliness
THIRD PERSON, universal feelings of soldiers
Structure and Form
Irregular Rhythm- mirrors soldier struggling to run through muds
Stanzas of uneven length
Categories: English Literature