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Please give feedback on this essay I wrote on the theme of war in the manhunt!!

Q) How is the theme of war presented in ‘The Manhunt’



Armitage presents a very negative impression of war, revealing the truth about the troubles the soldiers go through and shows how, even after war, their lives are changed forever.



In the first stanza, Armitage says, “only then would he let me trace”. The use of ‘only then’ in this line shows how long it must have been before he even let his wife see the scars and touch them. This creates the idea that he may be embarrassed of his scars and wouldn’t even let his own wife see them. This shows how war damages the soldiers mentally, making them ashamed of their own bodies. The use of ‘trace’ in this line shows how gently she touches him. Emphasising how much war has damaged him, and made him fragile, showing that he needs to be handled with care. It also shows how strong their love is, and that she, as his wife, must be the one to look after him and help him grow. This line shows how at the start, they may have lost the emotional connection that they used to have before the war, making them become distant. But by letting her finally touch his scars, we see how they are starting to become closer.

Armitage then uses “porcelain collar bone”. The use of ‘porcelain’ shows how delicate and fragile he is, suggesting he is easy to break, possibly due to the emotional and physical damage he has been through. The use of this line shows the emotional damage and dangers of war, and that the effects of war are long term, and they will affect him for the rest of his life. This idea is reinforced at the end of the poem, when Armitage says “sweating, unexploded mine”. The use of ‘sweating’ shows he is potentially scared of something, maybe even himself and the damage that he can do to his Wife and their marriage. This emphasises the physical effect of war. The use of ‘unexploded mine’ in this line shows that he is so damaged that, if triggered by his PTSD, he could become violent. This shows the damage that has been done to him, both physically and mentally, due to war. The reader trusts Armitage when reading about the effects of war, as we know he worked on a documentary, where he worked with survivors of the war and victims of permanent injuries.

In the second stanza, Armitage says ‘foetus of metal’ the use of ‘foetus’ shows hope for the future, creating the idea that he can be reborn as a new person, and potentially start a new life. However, “metal’ instantly juxtaposes this with images of something hard, cold and heavy. The link to cold here may represent that he is frozen, and must live with the effects of war, with no escape. This shows the dark side of war, and how war has ruined his life, with no chance of changing. By the end of the poem, we see how the relationship between the husband and wife has grown stronger emotionally.

To conclude, Armitage presents war as a very emotionally and physically damaging thing, that leaves you with injuries and conditions that are hard to recover from and creates awareness to the harsh realities that the soldiers must live with.
Reply 1
Original post by cannoo
Q) How is the theme of war presented in ‘The Manhunt’
Armitage presents a very negative impression of war, revealing the truth about the troubles the soldiers go through and shows how, even after war, their lives are changed forever.
In the first stanza, Armitage says, “only then would he let me trace”. The use of ‘only then’ in this line shows how long it must have been before he even let his wife see the scars and touch them. This creates the idea that he may be embarrassed of his scars and wouldn’t even let his own wife see them. This shows how war damages the soldiers mentally, making them ashamed of their own bodies. The use of ‘trace’ in this line shows how gently she touches him. Emphasising how much war has damaged him, and made him fragile, showing that he needs to be handled with care. It also shows how strong their love is, and that she, as his wife, must be the one to look after him and help him grow. This line shows how at the start, they may have lost the emotional connection that they used to have before the war, making them become distant. But by letting her finally touch his scars, we see how they are starting to become closer.
Armitage then uses “porcelain collar bone”. The use of ‘porcelain’ shows how delicate and fragile he is, suggesting he is easy to break, possibly due to the emotional and physical damage he has been through. The use of this line shows the emotional damage and dangers of war, and that the effects of war are long term, and they will affect him for the rest of his life. This idea is reinforced at the end of the poem, when Armitage says “sweating, unexploded mine”. The use of ‘sweating’ shows he is potentially scared of something, maybe even himself and the damage that he can do to his Wife and their marriage. This emphasises the physical effect of war. The use of ‘unexploded mine’ in this line shows that he is so damaged that, if triggered by his PTSD, he could become violent. This shows the damage that has been done to him, both physically and mentally, due to war. The reader trusts Armitage when reading about the effects of war, as we know he worked on a documentary, where he worked with survivors of the war and victims of permanent injuries.
In the second stanza, Armitage says ‘foetus of metal’ the use of ‘foetus’ shows hope for the future, creating the idea that he can be reborn as a new person, and potentially start a new life. However, “metal’ instantly juxtaposes this with images of something hard, cold and heavy. The link to cold here may represent that he is frozen, and must live with the effects of war, with no escape. This shows the dark side of war, and how war has ruined his life, with no chance of changing. By the end of the poem, we see how the relationship between the husband and wife has grown stronger emotionally.
To conclude, Armitage presents war as a very emotionally and physically damaging thing, that leaves you with injuries and conditions that are hard to recover from and creates awareness to the harsh realities that the soldiers must live with.

This answer is excellent - this would most definitely receive a high mark in GCSE english. One very tiny thing I would advise you to implement is instead of just saying 'the use of 'porcelain' shows how...', and specifying the word class instead.
This would then be written as 'the use of the concrete noun 'porcelain' shows how'... etc etc
Apart from that, I love how emotive and thoughtful your writing is - I'm sure that you won't even need the advice, but it's good to refine your writing as much as possible for your GCSEs.
Hana x
Reply 2
Original post by Hana.C07
This answer is excellent - this would most definitely receive a high mark in GCSE english. One very tiny thing I would advise you to implement is instead of just saying 'the use of 'porcelain' shows how...', and specifying the word class instead.
This would then be written as 'the use of the concrete noun 'porcelain' shows how'... etc etc
Apart from that, I love how emotive and thoughtful your writing is - I'm sure that you won't even need the advice, but it's good to refine your writing as much as possible for your GCSEs.
Hana x

ah thank you lovely!!! The advice is much appreciated xx
Reply 3
Original post by cannoo
ah thank you lovely!!! The advice is much appreciated xx

Anytime! xx

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