Poetry Comparison: Exposure Vs Bayonet ChargeWatch this thread
Q: Compare how poets present ideas about power in Bayonet Charge and in one other poem from power and conflict.
Both poems of ‘Bayonet Charge’ by Hughes and ‘Exposure’ by Owen presents the power of conflict to imply the corruption conflicted power has upon humanity – perhaps due to the continuous conflict occurring. Both poets reflect on the negative sanctions through man’s mental state also – instituting more of a metaphorical conflict experience: man against his mental state.
Similarly, both poems of ‘Exposure’ and ‘Bayonet Charge’ are obstructed through the continuous conflict throughout - firstly stated through Wilfred’s poem of ‘Exposure’. Owen highlights the power of conflict and how it corrupts the soldier’s humanity through his refraining boredom of “but nothing happens”. The repetition after nearly every stanza presents throughout the poem highlights Owen’s realisation of how this continuous conflicted power fighting against is evaluating no success; mainly “nothing happens”. Although perhaps it can be stated that Owen is indicating that the power of conflict is minimising the soldier’s humanity as it can be judged that they are really stuck in this virtual mental state where they are fighting against their mortality without realising it. They are deliberately forced to go against their own specie to conquer a requested order which is implied through the refrain that “nothing happens”. The power of conflict is implicated to turn humanity inside out and corrupt in which leaves the soldiers to seek a foe through their mental state when really, they are individually abolishing their own race of specie one by one. This links back to Owen’s purpose of provoking this power of conflict and how it corrupts humanity – leaving the soldiers to repeat this “ongoing suffering”- as conflicted power is proven through the refrain to corrupt humanity’s last moral in society which leaves the soldiers to accept the inevitable fate that they are waiting in their “holes” to come for them. This mimics their metaphorical conflict between men and his mental state as the conflicted power is corrupting the individual’s morality – leaving man himself to suffer against his will to live through the conflicted chaos but also live through his corrupted humanity: PTSD.
Like ‘Exposure’, ‘Bayonet Charge’ formats the power of conflict to implicate on the corruption of humanity, leaving the individual’s mental state to metaphorically addition to this conflict. Hughes emphasises the power of conflict where the soldier is “Suddenly” “awoke and was running”. The use of the media res implicates the continuous charging of conflict that comes after the soldier himself – corrupting humanity as it is stripped away from the individual implicitly. The use of the adverb “suddenly” exemplifies the sudden outburst of war’s routine which perhaps can suggest that Hughes is trying to communicate this rapid response that conflict expresses itself unpredictably- simultaneously as the corruption of humanity is driven by the conflicted power. This mimics Hughe’s purpose moral message of how the power of conflict is shown through the verb “running” as it perhaps personifies the soldier’s mental state and how corrupted it is by the continuous power of conflict. It can also be perhaps interpreted that the verb may highlight his metaphorical struggle of the soldier between his mental state, “running” away from the continued conflict but also from the reality of a masculine’s job at the contemporary time. Men were forced to go to war or be humiliated by society and be called a coward due to the man’s pettiness mental state. Men were reshaped into these puppets who were forced to follow an order when told to. This verb also echoes Owen’s highlight of minimalism of the soldier’s survival as “running” can be contemplated with this metaphorical timer – provoking this awareness of the soldiers being on this limited timeline. Owen and Hughes can also perhaps mimic that time is running out and that the only way to win this conflict is to fight an “ongoing suffering” – implying the corruption of humanity driven by the continuous conflicted power.
Both poems exemplify the power of conflict corrupting humanity by the repetitive battle of war’s reserves in store for the soldiers themselves. ‘Exposure’ highlights the power conflict and how it corrupts humanity - driven by the continuous conflict of war’s merchandise, but also differs from ‘Bayonet Charge’ as it is formatted as an autobiographical poem to indicate this personal perspective of how humanity is indicated to become corrupted in first person so that it gives the current reader to experience this war with Wilfred himself. Owen ‘exposes’ the corruptive humanity through the “winds that knife us” further personifying war’s negative preservations. The use of the “winds” is developed to craft a sense of continuous outrage and how these “winds” are metaphorically dragging this conflict on further and further until humanity strips itself apart; unable to cope with conflict’s power. This conflicted power is perhaps the two strands of Owen’s expressed thoughts: the power of conflict itself and its evolved remark of the conflict between man and his mental state inflicted by conflict’s power itself. These verbal connotations highlighted through “knife” are constructed to craft this negative imagery of conflict’s power, corrupting humanity which leads to their “ongoing suffering”. The use of the plural pronoun links back to the autobiographical purpose throughout the poem to craft this personal perspective of war and the soldiers identify this corruption of humanity and accepts the inevitable driven by the continuous power of conflict. The stabbing sensation driven by the personifying “winds” can also be inflicted upon this similarity of the continuous rapture of conflict and how the soldiers themselves have gotten used to the feeling of conflict’s power over humanity and accepts the repetitious stabbing of their mortality.
Contrasting Owen’s autobiographical poem, ‘Bayonet Charge’ is stimulated differently through its use of a biographical poem – highlighting a rather storyteller viewing of humanity becoming corrupted by the continuous power of conflict. Hughes implies this through his use of the pronoun “he” which indicates a different point of view compared to Owen’s plural pronoun of “us”. Although ‘Exposure’ echoes ‘Bayonet Charge’ through their similar uses of purposes, they both differ crucially to envelope the antithetical viewing points of conflict’s power over humanity. Hughes highlights the man’s “foot hung like statuary in mid-stride”. The verb of “hung” metaphorically suggests that his humanity is hanging on an implicit thread which although contrasts Owen’s perspective of war, it perhaps combines with Owen’s similar remark of the soldier’s life being on this limited timeline. The verb also contradicts this metaphorical struggle internally between the individual soldiers themselves and their mental state as the graphical imagery can be implied that the soldier is metaphorically accepting their own death on at this point. This links back to Hughes’s moral message of inserting conflict’s power to evoke the corruption of humanity which leads the “ongoing suffering” to occur between man and conflict but also man and himself, struggling for his stability of his state. The simile constructed also highlights this dehumanised concept which is provoked through ‘Exposure’, as it implicates on how the mental state of the soldiers is becoming dehumanised – stripping away humanity and leaving the soldiers to become unidentified and worthless which is judged as unbiased for their worthy effort inserted to allow futuristic events to be unfold if it wasn’t for their bravery. The use of insertion links back to the poet’s purpose of implying conflict’s power to imply the corruption of humanity because Hughes perhaps may indicate this source of dehumanisation through the soldier’s metal state to exemplify how the power of conflict has corrupted their humanity so much that it has been left to corrode- stripped away from them individually and leaving them to fight this ongoing battle between themselves and their individual metal state: PTSD.
In conclusion, both poets exemplify the power of conflict to convey the corruption of humanity both internally and externally through their “ongoing suffering” between reality and their mental state. This metaphorical judgement proved through both poet’s insertion is juxtaposed; although having this same contextualised moral, both poets simultaneously use different medias to refer to the corruption of humanity driven by conflict’s power itself. (Autobiographical and biographical).