compare men who march away and all the hills and vales along

Decent Essays
Compare ‘Men who march away’ and ‘All the Hills and Vales along’

Both poets present a differing attitude to war through literary techniques. Hardy presents a very jingoistic, patriotic attitude to war through his use of language and repetition. Whereas, Charles Sorely uses a less patriotic tone and focuses more on war being very negative through his use of language, biblical imagery and structure.

Firstly, both poems are similar in that they both have a strict rhythm. In ‘Men who march away’, the poem has five seven line stanzas which each stick to the same rhyme scheme: ABBBAAB. He also uses alliteration often to create a steady rhythm (e.g ‘men who march’). Arguably, the obvious reason for this would be to create the rhythm of
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It’s a good thing because you’re committing yourself to history. Jesus is mentioned in the next stanza, the ‘Earth blossomed and was glad’ beneath his cross. This further compares soldiers to Christ and glorifies death. ‘Blossomed’ suggests something new grew and more beautiful grew from his death, just like it would if a soldier sacrificed his life. However, this is also ironic as Jesus’ sacrifice was to save humanity of their sins. The soldier would’ve been contributing to mass murder, which is a massive sin.

In contrast to this, Hardy uses a much less obvious but still powerful religious reference. He talks about the ‘faith and fire within us’ and repeats this. The repetition of it highlights the prominence of religion at the time to every man and the fact that it was a massive part in them fighting the war. Moreover, it highlights the fact that men thought God would guide them, all they needed was ‘the faith and fire’ to see them through the war. However, on a non religious level, it might also highlight the fact that men thought the war would end. They had faith that they were going to war for a just cause and that they would pull through. As it was written before the worst of the war, this is genuinely what men believed.

It’s interesting that both poets use religion to inspire and insight something deep within soldiers as religion was massively important and influential. However, they do it in different ways. Hardy reminds the men that their
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