Comparison Of Bayonet Charge And Charge Of The Light Brigade Essay

471 words - 2 pages

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Throughout Bayonet Charge, we see the soldier's bravery through Hughes’ presentation of the soldier's quiet reassurance and ability to work through doubt. In comparison to the first stanza of the poem, the enjambment between lines in the second stanza shows extended thought processes as seen when he questions 'In what cold clockwork of the stars and the nations/ Was he the hand pointing that second?' The metaphorical reference to life, or possibly war, as ‘clockwork’ controlled by ‘stars’ and ‘nations’ shows the soldier’s recognition that his fate after he goes ‘over the top’ is out of his control and is instead in the hands of fate and his enemies. Hughes’ inclusion of this rhetorical question shows how soldiers may doubts their own beliefs behind his actions and whether they are purely constructed by expectations of them. Similarly, the soldier listens ‘between footfalls for the reason of his still running’. In referencing the soldiers auditory senses as he is ‘listening’, Hughes creates the impression that time has slowed down whilst the soldier considers his own motivations but equally that he is still alert to his surroundings and is ‘still’ aware of his duty to keep moving forward. Ultimately, the enjambment carrying through to the final stanza where the soldier is transported back to the war with recognising the ‘shot slashed furrows’ implies he has never stopped despite his doubts.

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