Cupcakes20040
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Hello! I was wondering whether anybody could give me some feedback and possibly a grade for this response? Preparing for my English Literature national year 11 mocks(PAPER 2) in January and any advice/help would be really appreciated, thank you!

Q)Compare how both poems present the theme of man versus nature through the effective use of language and structure.

‘Bayonet Charge’, a poem constructed by Ted Hughes -a 20th century English poet whose father served as a soldier in World War One- and ‘Exposure’, a poem produced by Wilfred Owen -both a leading soldier and poet within World War One- both present the dominating theme of ‘Man verses Nature’ through their poetry. While Bayonet Charge explores the dehumanisation of the soldiers as they fight against their own true human natures, Exposure focusses upon the destructive nature of nature itself as the soldiers fight against humankind's one true nemesis; Nature.

Wilfred Owen’s ‘Exposure’ is a poem which is in the present tense (like most of the poems within the cluster) and immediately begins with contrasting mental pain to physical pain -clearing presenting the extreme confusion the soldier is experiencing- “our brains ache,” presenting first person plural right at the beginning of the poem. Owen is clearly presenting a collective voice which not only continues within the poem, but makes the narrator a microcosm for humanity unlike ‘Bayonet Charge’ which presents a singular soldier in order to emphasize the isolation the said soldier feels while reinforcing the ideology of the soldier no longer being in control of his own body due to the sheer terror he is experiencing. The direct comparison between the soldier’s mentality and the soldiers body implies a soldier’s downfall is not due their physical well-being; but the nature of humanity they possess. Another interpretation is the ideology of the humanity containing a primitive nature based upon Darwin’s considerably recent unearthing’s, coming to life in the urgency of battle. The fact that the entirety of the soldier’s “brains ache” creates the impression of everlasting pain, and that even the most advanced elements of their existence cannot outlive under the high demands of conflict. The poem also possesses a regular rhyme scheme (ABBAC) however, despite this some of these rhymes are considered half rhymes -which may symbolize the constant disruption the soldiers feel even in times of rest. - On the contrary, this may represent the soldier’s unsteady, heavy breathes as they attempt to imprison the primitive nature that dares to escape them.

‘Bayonet Charge’ contrasts Wilfred Owen’s regular rhythm with its own sense of irregularity provided by the irregular line length the poem contains. Although a popular connotation is the concept that this may symbolise the irregular sense of security within war, another possible interpretation is the rare occasional glimpse of hope experienced by soldiers when face to face with patriotic means. The poem also has consistent use of caesura and enjambment; not only reinforcing the previous ideology, but also creating a window for the reader to have a front seat view of the soldier’s inner turmoils. The enjambment portraying the lone soldier’s lack of control while he attempts to stop himself with a series of caesuras. The poem, unlike ‘Exposure’ begins in medias res (in action) where he “suddenly awoke” to find himself surrounded by the everlasting conflict around him. It may also be Hughes’s way of criticizing the society he resides in, or possibility humanity as a whole suggesting conflict is ever lasting and continuous; war will always be occurring at one place within the world while humanity still dominates the earth we live on. Not only does the poem provide an irregular rhythm -which in a simple interpretation may just mirror the soldiers struggling through the mud-, but it also takes the form on a ‘blank verse ‘which juxtaposes the complexity of war (especially in more modern society’s).

Exposure despite being on of the lengthy poems within the cluster ironically has little progression taking place. This may be a reference to contextual means; the World War One itself was a very though scenario for both nations. The war was said to be won in ‘inches’ as both the allies and Germany -with their allies- were evenly matched upon the battlefield. This may be attempting to mirror the endless struggle experienced by these soldiers, or even attempting to show the little progress these soldiers have made to earn their victory within the battle of their own mentality. The poem eventually progresses where the soldiers face another attack brought by nature. The soldiers watching as “flakes black with snow attack with lingering stealth.” This not only personifies the dreaded weather the soldiers are forced to withstand into a remorseless soldier; but it links snows (considered as nature’s purest form) to the colour black full of negative connotations. The link alone not only emphasizes how destructive nature has become to the vulnerable soldiers but shows how nature has become a weapon -much like the soldier presented within ‘Bayonet Charge’. – The metaphorical use of “attack with lingering stealth” not only stresses the minimum effort required by nature to over power mankind, but highlights the everlasting effort nature has upon humanity’s decisions.
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Davy611
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It's a bit wordy but it's quite good at times. You show a clear understanding of both poems and you're able to compare them effectively. Thoughtful and developed in places. Just into level 5 due to some strong AO2 comments. I'd say 21.
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Davy611
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This is clearer:

'Bayonet Charge’ was written by Ted Hughes - a 20th century English poet whose father served as a soldier in World War One. ‘Exposure’ was by Wilfred Owen: World War One soldier and poet. Both present the dominating theme of ‘Man verses Nature’ through their poetry. While 'Bayonet Charge' explores the dehumanisation of the soldiers, Exposure focuses upon the destructive nature of nature itself. In the first poem, the soldiers fight each other in terrible anonymity; in the second, they must contend with the cruel power of the natural world.

‘Exposure’ is written in the present tense (like most of the poems within the cluster) and immediately begins by contrasting mental pain to physical pain; this presents the extreme confusion the soldier is experiencing: “Our brains ache.” The first person plural is placed right at the beginning of the poem. Owen is clearly presenting a collective voice which makes the narrator a microcosm for humanity unlike ‘Bayonet Charge’ which presents a singular soldier in order to emphasise the isolation of the subject. This also serves to reinforce the idea of the soldier no longer being in control of his own body due to the sheer terror he is experiencing. The direct comparison between the soldier’s mentality and the soldier's body implies a soldier’s downfall is not due to their physical well-being; but to their intellect and character. Another interpretation is the idea that the primitive mind, in a Darwinian sense, is brought to the fore by the urgency of battle. “Brains ache” creates the impression of everlasting pain, and that even the most advanced elements of their existence cannot survive the high demands of conflict. The poem also possesses a regular rhyme scheme (ABBAC); however, despite this, some of these rhymes are half rhymes. This may reflect the constant disruption the soldiers felt, even in times of rest.

‘Bayonet Charge’ offers a contrast to the regular rhythm of 'Exposure'. This poem has irregular lines in terms of length and structure. This may reflect the insecurity of war. Another possible interpretation is the rare occasional glimpse of hope experienced by soldiers in the midst of chaos. The poem also has a consistent use of caesura and enjambment; this is not only reinforcing the previous idea, but also allows us to empathise more with the soldier’s inner turmoil. The enjambment portrays the lone soldier’s lack of control while he attempts to stop himself with a series of caesuras. This poem, unlike ‘Exposure’, begins in medias res (in action) where he “suddenly awoke” to find himself surrounded by the internecine conflict around him. It may also be Hughes’s way of criticising society, or possibility, humanity as a whole. Conflict is ever lasting and continuous; war will always be occurring at one place within the world while humanity still dominates the earth we live on. Not only does the poem provide an irregular rhythm, which in a simple interpretation may just mirror the soldiers struggling through the mud, but it also takes the form on a ‘blank verse ‘which reflects the complexity of war (especially in modern society).

Exposure, despite being one of the lengthier poems within the cluster, ironically has little progression taking place. This may be a contextual reference; World War One itself was often characterised as a slow, remorseless conflict. The war was said to be won in ‘inches’ as both the allies and Germany were evenly matched upon the battlefield. This may be attempting to mirror the endless struggle experienced by these soldiers, or even attempting to show the little progress these soldiers have made to earn their victory within their own minds. The poem eventually progresses when the soldiers face another attack brought by nature. The soldiers are watching as “flakes black with snow attack with lingering stealth.” This not only personifies the dreaded weather the soldiers are forced to withstand but it also links snows (considered as nature’s purest form) to the colour black (full of negative connotations). The link emphasises how destructive nature has become to the vulnerable soldiers and it shows how nature has become a weapon - much like the soldier presented within ‘Bayonet Charge’. The metaphorical use of “attack with lingering stealth” stresses the minimum effort required by nature to overpower mankind and also highlights the strength and power of the natural world.
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Cupcakes20040
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(Original post by Davy611)
This is clearer:

'Bayonet Charge’ was written by Ted Hughes - a 20th century English poet whose father served as a soldier in World War One. ‘Exposure’ was by Wilfred Owen: World War One soldier and poet. Both present the dominating theme of ‘Man verses Nature’ through their poetry. While 'Bayonet Charge' explores the dehumanisation of the soldiers, Exposure focuses upon the destructive nature of nature itself. In the first poem, the soldiers fight each other in terrible anonymity; in the second, they must contend with the cruel power of the natural world.

‘Exposure’ is written in the present tense (like most of the poems within the cluster) and immediately begins by contrasting mental pain to physical pain; this presents the extreme confusion the soldier is experiencing: “Our brains ache.” The first person plural is placed right at the beginning of the poem. Owen is clearly presenting a collective voice which makes the narrator a microcosm for humanity unlike ‘Bayonet Charge’ which presents a singular soldier in order to emphasise the isolation of the subject. This also serves to reinforce the idea of the soldier no longer being in control of his own body due to the sheer terror he is experiencing. The direct comparison between the soldier’s mentality and the soldier's body implies a soldier’s downfall is not due to their physical well-being; but to their intellect and character. Another interpretation is the idea that the primitive mind, in a Darwinian sense, is brought to the fore by the urgency of battle. “Brains ache” creates the impression of everlasting pain, and that even the most advanced elements of their existence cannot survive the high demands of conflict. The poem also possesses a regular rhyme scheme (ABBAC); however, despite this, some of these rhymes are half rhymes. This may reflect the constant disruption the soldiers felt, even in times of rest.

‘Bayonet Charge’ offers a contrast to the regular rhythm of 'Exposure'. This poem has irregular lines in terms of length and structure. This may reflect the insecurity of war. Another possible interpretation is the rare occasional glimpse of hope experienced by soldiers in the midst of chaos. The poem also has a consistent use of caesura and enjambment; this is not only reinforcing the previous idea, but also allows us to empathise more with the soldier’s inner turmoil. The enjambment portrays the lone soldier’s lack of control while he attempts to stop himself with a series of caesuras. This poem, unlike ‘Exposure’, begins in medias res (in action) where he “suddenly awoke” to find himself surrounded by the internecine conflict around him. It may also be Hughes’s way of criticising society, or possibility, humanity as a whole. Conflict is ever lasting and continuous; war will always be occurring at one place within the world while humanity still dominates the earth we live on. Not only does the poem provide an irregular rhythm, which in a simple interpretation may just mirror the soldiers struggling through the mud, but it also takes the form on a ‘blank verse ‘which reflects the complexity of war (especially in modern society).

Exposure, despite being one of the lengthier poems within the cluster, ironically has little progression taking place. This may be a contextual reference; World War One itself was often characterised as a slow, remorseless conflict. The war was said to be won in ‘inches’ as both the allies and Germany were evenly matched upon the battlefield. This may be attempting to mirror the endless struggle experienced by these soldiers, or even attempting to show the little progress these soldiers have made to earn their victory within their own minds. The poem eventually progresses when the soldiers face another attack brought by nature. The soldiers are watching as “flakes black with snow attack with lingering stealth.” This not only personifies the dreaded weather the soldiers are forced to withstand but it also links snows (considered as nature’s purest form) to the colour black (full of negative connotations). The link emphasises how destructive nature has become to the vulnerable soldiers and it shows how nature has become a weapon - much like the soldier presented within ‘Bayonet Charge’. The metaphorical use of “attack with lingering stealth” stresses the minimum effort required by nature to overpower mankind and also highlights the strength and power of the natural world.
Thank you!
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Cupcakes20040
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#5
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(Original post by Davy611)
It's a bit wordy but it's quite good at times. You show a clear understanding of both poems and you're able to compare them effectively. Thoughtful and developed in places. Just into level 5 due to some strong AO2 comments. I'd say 21.
Okay thanks a lot, I'll definitely attempt to cut it down and explore my ideas a bit more. Thanks again for your help.
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