Compare how poets present World War 1 in ‘Mametz Wood’ and one other poem you studied Sheers wrote ‘Mametz Wood’, reflecting on the death and remains of solders in World War One contrasted to Hughes who wrote’ Bayonet Charge’ after war but set it during war, presenting the uncertainty of the soldiers. Having the two poems set in different times, contrasts how World War 1 is presented both during and after.
Bayonet Charge has many examples of similes to give vivid detail to the reader, helping them to understand life at war whereas ‘Mametz Wood’ is run on metaphors to describe the delicacy of the remains of soldiers after war In ‘Mametz Wood, the metaphor ‘the china plate of a shoulder blade’ infers that the body piece which was found ‘under their plough’ was delicate, fragile and easily broken.
Knowing the possible effect of the metaphor, we can suggest that the writer used this as a way of saying that even though the soldiers were tough and broad on the outside, the inside of them was delicate and easily shattered because of the war being so horrific which is what Sheers could be attempting to present in his poem moreover, ‘their skeletons paused mid dance – macabre’ suggests that now we know if you went to war, you’re essentially walking into your own grave without knowing death is going to take you presenting but the soldiers didn’t know that and they ended up ‘buried in one long grave…linked arm in arm’, compared to Bayonet Charge. A ‘patriotic tear’ could possibly signifying that the solider believed he’d get glory and honour in fighting for his country but that patriotism is lost within his tear as he ‘runs’ and ‘was running like a man who has jumped up in the dark’ suggesting, that he doesn’t understand why or where he is running to.
The writer in Bayonet Charge presents a lot of uncertainty, hesitation, confusion and danger in the atmosphere – during World War One – for a solider. There so much threat that even ordinary objects like a ‘green hedge’ seems suspicious and dangerous Also, the structure the writer has chosen for Bayonet Charge was cleverly selected as enjambment and irregular stanzas could suggest the nonstop action and running, with no end to it. Also, the structure could suggest the unpredictability of war, showing how a solider felt in such a dangerous place whereas; ‘Mametz Wood’ has a regular structure and very few run on lines. This could suggest a sense of safety and end. There isn’t any ncertainty (like the run on lines in Bayonet Charge) and unlike them, the soldiers are now away from danger and the audience knows it’s harmless. The writers using this structure could present how during war there was doubt and continuous movement without knowing how it’s going to end but after war, the soldiers are just there like the poem. Sheers presents war and helps our understanding of it. using techniques like onomatopoeia compared to Sheers using visual description. In lines 14 to 18 in ‘Mametz Wood’, the writer visually describes how the skeletons are seen; frozen, linking arms in a dance of death and ‘socketed heads tilted back…their jaws…dropped on’.
We can see the image Hughes is creating in our head and it’s a fairly distressing thought which could indicate how the soldiers as well as the farmers who find the remains under their ploughs are distressed in contrast to Hughes using onomatopoeia in ‘Bayonet Charge’. ‘Smacking’ ‘smashed’ and ‘crackling’ are all examples of onomatopoeia used within the poem which pulls the audience closer into the poem to present the terrifying experience during war. Both writers using these techniques, helps us grasp the shock and horror present during war, through sounds and visual images so we can get into the mind of a solider. In conclusion, both writers have presented two different aspects of World War One: the living and the dead.
This opposing contrast presents life for the soldiers at war, during and after the event but they both have one thing in common – the distress and horror behind it all. Mametz Wood suggests the end of the horror but suggests how the horror lives on because even now, there are still remains and bodies found in the most normal places saying it’s something that will never be forgotten. It’s the end of the story. But Bayonet Charge takes the audience through the terrifying experience of war and the uncertainty and shock, through the readers mind. It presents how the soldiers got involved in something completely different from what they expected and by the end they realise how dangerous reality is.