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What would you grade this AQA english lit power and conflict answer our of 30?

Question: Compare how poets present the effects of war in Bayonet Charge and one other poem from “Power and Conflict”.
Answer: Exposure and Bayonet Charge both clearly represent the horrors and the pity of war and how the effects of it can be heartbreaking. They both also represent two people who struggled in war in real life, in Exposure it was the poet himself, Wilfred Owen who died a week before the Armistice was signed, and in Bayonet Charge, Ted Hughes’s father, who fought in the war, and whilst he did not die, he and his family felt the effects of war long after it had ended.

Bayonet charge starts in media-res and we are plunged into action, “suddenly he awoke and was running raw in raw steamed hot khaki”. Caesura is used here which could be used to represent the deprecation the soldiers felt between the trenches and their homes. Contrastingly, in Exposure, we begin the poem with a description of the effects the conditions and violence has had on the soldiers, when Owen uses the metaphor “our brains ache”. This is different to Bayonet Charge, as it sounds like as if this is before the soldiers have actually experienced the full effects of war; they are still engulfed in the exhilaration and anticipation of “going over the top”. I would say the main difference here is that in exposure it feels that the soldiers have been there for a long, never ending period of time, and that the soldier in Bayonet Charge hasn’t.

However, a similarity between the two poems which is made very clear early on in both is that both speakers are clearly very effected by the violence that is taking place around them. In Exposure, Owen describes how “sudden successive bullets streak the silence”. The sibilance used here, juxtaposes the plosives to really explore the idea of bullets almost hurting the atmosphere. Likewise, in Bayonet Charge it says that the bullets “smack the belly out of the air”. This metaphor is used to personify nature, which is the air, suggesting that it almost has human body parts which link to the beginning of the poem where it personified the rifle as an arm. Ted Hughes may be doing this to link nature and humans to show that they are not so dissimilar after all and that what hurts humans also hurts nature. This idea is also explored later in the poems.

There is also clear connotations of anti-war, anti-patriotic attitudes throughout both poems. In Bayonet Charge, it describes that “the patriotic tear that had brimmed my eye”. The use of past tense here is significant as it connotes that the soldier once was patriotic and he wanted to fight for his country and was proud to, but after experiencing the reality of it, he wants nothing more then to go home- he no longer has that patriotic attitude, the war has stripped him of that.
Similarly, in Exposure, Owen says, and repeats, “for the love of war seems dying”. This could be interpreted that because of the disastrous effects of war, he has been stripped of his religion and it looks as if he is going to become just a statistic of one of the many men who died during WW1. This really shows that in both Bayonet Charge and Exposure, the soldiers have been stripped of their beliefs and identities, because of their realisations of how pointless war really is.

Finally, one of the biggest differences that really stands out to me, is how nature is presented. In bayonet charge, nature is presented as a victim, and this is shown when Hughes writes “a yellow hare that rolled like a flame”. This simile shows that the effects of war are not only detrimental to humans, but also nature, similar to the way that global warming not only affects humans, but nature too. However, the idea of nature is completely different in Exposure, where nature is portrayed as an enemy. For example, Owen says “The merciless iced east winds that knive us”. This personification of nature, suggests that the violence inflicted on soldiers is not only man-made but also from nature too, again showing nature and humankind are closely linked.

Overall, I wouldn’t say that these poems are dissimilar, as they both explore the reality of war and the effects of it and the lack of escapism that the soldiers feel. This is shown in the structure of both poems. The structure of both poems is very regular, which could connote the limitations of war and that they are in a never-ending cycle of despair and suffering. I also think that because both poems are based off real life experiences, the writers intentions are similar. For example, it could be concluded that Ted Hughes wrote Bayonet Charge as a tribute to his father, and Wilfred Owen wrote Exposure as a tribute to himself in a way, maybe showing to us that he knew he was going to die and wouldn’t be able to speak out first hand, so he wrote this poem which has been and will continue to be read for years to come.
Hiya! I got grade 9 at GSCE, I don’t mark papers just based on what I used to do. Amazing points, however just coin a few key phrases or “fancy” words to make you sound more certain and articulate in what you are saying. In your first paragraph, you embedded the quote nicely however then proceeded to just disregard an explanation. As there will almost be a lot of “over explaining” use secondary quotes to back yo your initial points and try to include 4 in each paragraph minimum. (Don’t have to explain all just embed some to help your points get across better).

Honestly although I sound critical, this is a lovely piece of work and I would guess it is about 24/30!!
You are doing amazing keep pushing through to the summer.
Original post by gin_n_tonic
Hiya! I got grade 9 at GSCE, I don’t mark papers just based on what I used to do. Amazing points, however just coin a few key phrases or “fancy” words to make you sound more certain and articulate in what you are saying. In your first paragraph, you embedded the quote nicely however then proceeded to just disregard an explanation. As there will almost be a lot of “over explaining” use secondary quotes to back yo your initial points and try to include 4 in each paragraph minimum. (Don’t have to explain all just embed some to help your points get across better).

Honestly although I sound critical, this is a lovely piece of work and I would guess it is about 24/30!!
You are doing amazing keep pushing through to the summer.

Thank you so much! This was my answer in my mock exam and I managed to get a 9, but that’s because I got really high marks in my Inspector Calls questions and my Unseen Poetry. Thanks for the great feedback on this as it was my worst answered question, it’s really helpful!!!
Original post by jess_reid13
Thank you so much! This was my answer in my mock exam and I managed to get a 9, but that’s because I got really high marks in my Inspector Calls questions and my Unseen Poetry. Thanks for the great feedback on this as it was my worst answered question, it’s really helpful!!!

You are very talented did not mean to come across harsh at all!! Was in your boat this time last year so if you would like any help at all feel free to message! Well done by the way
Original post by gin_n_tonic
You are very talented did not mean to come across harsh at all!! Was in your boat this time last year so if you would like any help at all feel free to message! Well done by the way

Ah thank you so much it means a lot ! Sorry if it’s too much hassle but i’m just wondering if you could also check out my inspector calls answer too that’s on my page, someone has already given feedback but I’m looking for as much as possible! Don’t worry if not :smile:
Original post by jess_reid13
Ah thank you so much it means a lot ! Sorry if it’s too much hassle but i’m just wondering if you could also check out my inspector calls answer too that’s on my page, someone has already given feedback but I’m looking for as much as possible! Don’t worry if not :smile:


Yes i’ll have a look now
Original post by gin_n_tonic
Yes i’ll have a look now

Thank you:smile:
Original post by gin_n_tonic
Yes i’ll have a look now


Hiya sorry did you have a chance to look at it?
Original post by jess_reid13
Hiya sorry did you have a chance to look at it?

Could you send it me by any chance I can’t seem to find it! Also sorry for late reply totally forgot about here
Original post by gin_n_tonic
Could you send it me by any chance I can’t seem to find it! Also sorry for late reply totally forgot about here


1. How does Priestley use the Inspector to suggest ways society could be improved?
In the morality play, “an Inspector Calls” the character of the Inspector strives to drive change in the Birlings morals, political values and ethics, as they are used as a microcosm of capitalism. In juxtaposition, the Inspector is used to represent the “millions and millions” of working class whose lives are at the hands of people like the Birling family.

At the start of the play, the wealthy family are sitting down for a meal, to celebrate the recent engagement of Sheila Birling and Gerald. To the couple, this is a symbol of the joyous unity of two family’s, but to Mr Birling, it seems like more of a business deal, uniting two businesses who may not have to rival anymore, suggesting he is trying to monopolise off of his daughters potential marriage. This is how we are first introduced to the selfish ways of the Birlings, and in particular, Mr Birling. During this celebration evening, the stage directions state that the lighting is “pink” and “intimate”, an atmosphere you would expect for a celebration. But the lighting soon turns to “brighter” and “harder”, when the intruder, known as the Inspector arrives. This to the audience watching the play, would suggest that Priestley wanted to set up the ambience in the room for something a little more serious than an engagement party. When the Inspector arrives, he brings with him an effect of “massiveness” which imposes a threat to Mr Birling, who tries his best to seem intimidating. The noun “massiveness” is used here to potentially represent the bomb that the Inspector is about to drop on the family and how it is likely to change their lives forever.

As the play progresses, the Inspector explains what happened to Eva and begins to allude to the fact that the Birlings are somehow involved. He says that why Eva did what she did was caused by a “chain of events”. The noun “chain” has connotations of being locked up or potentially weighed down. At this point, he begins to show to the Birlings that he is very different to them, and they quickly begin to realise that he is not in agreement with him about most things, and in particular, politics. He separates himself from them by saying “I don’t play golf”, suggesting he doesn’t participate in what could be classed as an upper class sport. It may be concluded here that capitalism and socialism should never mix, and Priestly believed that socialism and socialism only was the key to success in Britain. In 1945, along with 12 million others he voted Labour, who won a landslide victory. It could also be concluded that this event influenced Priestley to write the play as he wanted to promote socialism, so that Labour would keep winning.

At the end of the play, it becomes very clear that Sheila has been most influenced by the Inspectors presence, as she is most accepting of his views and the only Birling to immediately accept responsibility for her actions. She also stands up to her father and says “But they aren’t just cheap labour, they are people”, which juxtaposes the phrase that Mr Birling used at the beginning of the play, “lower costs and higher prices”. This reflects Priestleys hopes for Britain, as he believed young people were the ones who could make the most difference and invoke a change for the UK’s political future. In the Inspectors final speech, he makes it even more clear that he is a socialist, who’s purpose was to make the Birlings change. He says “we are members of one body” which suggests that he thinks we should work together for equality and peace. He also says that we will pay in “fire blood and anguish” if we don’t change. This list of 3 creates a semantic field of hell, potentially reflecting that Priestley believed capitalist aristocrats such as the Birlings will go to hell if they do not accept socialist views.

To conclude, I would say that Priestley has written “An Inspector Calls” almost as an act of propaganda, to promote his political beliefs after the Labour victory. I know that the play was set in 1912, which was a very different time to 1945, and this is done to enable Priestley to use devices such as dramatic irony to make the Birlings and their political ideologies seem stupid and unfathomable. The character of the Inspector was Priestleys mouthpiece, who was there to reveal that having these capitalist ideas made you sinful, for example each of the Birlings had a sin (eg Sheila had envy). Overall, Priestley wrote the play to represent how “millions and millions” of Eva Smiths and John Smiths lives in 1912 and onwards could have been saved if social welfare systems, such as the NHS exsisted.

Out of 30.
thank you x

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