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English literature, compare exposure to another poem (please mark honestly)

In both poems Exposure and Remains, the writer presents the brutal effects of war on humans. Although the forces of nature in 'Exposure' seem to cause physical pain to the soldiers, the power of taking humans life causes catastrophic torment on the soldier's mind in 'Remains'.

In Exposure, we learn that the extreme weather conditions faced by the soldiers in WW1 trenches cause unbearable suffering. For instance, we learn through the quote "merciless iced east winds that knive us" that's the wind has been personified to be another foe alongside the Germans. Additionally the verb "knive" has associations with lethality, danger and pain which are all significant to portray the wind with an image of "merciless" cruelty. Perhaps the wind was so strong it had cut the skin on the men or more figuratively the lethality of the wind is the continuous barrage of gusts that hit whilst at freezing temperatures which is not surprising as the wind gusts in the trenches reached over 40mph. Furthermore the refrain "but nothing happens" has been repeated over 4 times which may have cleverly been placed by the writer 4 times to symbolise the soldiers' thoughts after the end of each of the 4 years in the war. This refrain is also ironic as in every stanza, we are told of the catastrophic weather conditions and their impact on the soldiers' lives, however, we are told that "nothing happens" highlighted the frustration the soldiers felt each year after their abhorrent torment. This may have been used by the writer to encompass the reader to feel empathetic to the poor but on another level, we feel compelled to criticise the government for making the soldiers' "brain ache" in spite of the war's motive. Why must soldiers risk their lives in trenches? Perhaps it is another war rooted in human greed and although the British and German soldiers fought on opposing sides, they were all reminded of the deadly force of nature and question the futility of war. Contextually over 50,000 soldiers had valiantly fell on the battlefield due to the extreme weather condition, whereby the lowest temperature recorded was -20 degrees Celsius. Overall, the readers are tailored to feel empathetic towards the soldiers since we learn most soldiers fought and their "eyes are ice" which shows regardless of foe, the natural forces always overpower humans and in doing so, nature leaves tremendous wounds on its victims. Perhaps, this porm was constructed as a criticism to war and its futility, at the end we are all humans who can get crushed in front of nature.

Similarly, the futility of war is also depicted in the poem 'Remains' with the same nihilistic tone and the theme of suffering as a result of the abuse of power, However, the more psychological and mental effects of war are presented in the poem 'Remains'. For instance we learn through the quote "I see broad daylight on the other side" that the speaker is actively able to recall the gruesome of the civilian. Literally, the writer has suggested that the speaker has seen the sunlight come out from the bullet holes of the victim or perhaps, more figuratively, the light may indicate the "light if heaven" shining down on the victim, creating a pure and innocent image if the victim, juxtaposing the murderer's feelings of regret. Additionally we learn through the quote "his bloody life in my bloody hands" that the speaker's reinforced image of the victim is still vividly in his mind, suggesting he is constantly tormented by guilt as a result of the war. Metaphorically the victim's life is on the man's hands which shows the soldier is acceptive of the fact that he is responsible for murdering an innocent person. The clear repetition of 'bloody' may have been used by Armitage to help the reader imagine the sheer torment that the speaker is reminded of at almost every thought of the victim. This is all in order to tailor us to feel empathetic towards the speaker as we realise that there is genuine feelings of regret and the tone throughout the porm is that of remorse. This encompasses us to criticise the government the same way as we did in 'Exposure'. Contextually, this poem may have talked about the war in Iraq as it is described as 'some sun-stunned, sand-smothered' land, however, it is essentially not limited to this war and as a result it could be a universal experience for all returning soldiers who suffer from PTSD. Following the events of Iraq, over 1,000 British soldiers were reported to have suffered from PTSD which was unfortunate as it meant that social integration was difficult for them so they took "drugs to flush out" the victims like in the poem. Overall, the reader has been tailored to grow very strongly against the war and similarly to 'Exposure', we question the need of destroying a soldier's mental well-being for a war that wins over nothing? Perhaps the soldiers returning from battle are seen as insignificant in the eyes of the government which continue to brew up new wars constantly over materialistic issues, without considering the psychological effects on the soldiers.

In conclusion, in both poems, 'Remains' and 'Exposure', the futility of war is questioned, althought with different experiences of war. In 'Exposure' we learn that the power of nature exceeds that of humans so war is meaningless, but in 'Remains', the psychological consequences on a soldier are not seen as worth the fight. Perhaps, history is always repeating itself so as long as humans live, suffering will always continue since war is nothing but a meaningless fight against both nature and ones own morality.
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Original post by kazee12
In both poems Exposure and Remains, the writer presents the brutal effects of war on humans. Although the forces of nature in 'Exposure' seem to cause physical pain to the soldiers, the power of taking humans life causes catastrophic torment on the soldier's mind in 'Remains'.
In Exposure, we learn that the extreme weather conditions faced by the soldiers in WW1 trenches cause unbearable suffering. For instance, we learn through the quote "merciless iced east winds that knive us" that's the wind has been personified to be another foe alongside the Germans. Additionally the verb "knive" has associations with lethality, danger and pain which are all significant to portray the wind with an image of "merciless" cruelty. Perhaps the wind was so strong it had cut the skin on the men or more figuratively the lethality of the wind is the continuous barrage of gusts that hit whilst at freezing temperatures which is not surprising as the wind gusts in the trenches reached over 40mph. Furthermore the refrain "but nothing happens" has been repeated over 4 times which may have cleverly been placed by the writer 4 times to symbolise the soldiers' thoughts after the end of each of the 4 years in the war. This refrain is also ironic as in every stanza, we are told of the catastrophic weather conditions and their impact on the soldiers' lives, however, we are told that "nothing happens" highlighted the frustration the soldiers felt each year after their abhorrent torment. This may have been used by the writer to encompass the reader to feel empathetic to the poor but on another level, we feel compelled to criticise the government for making the soldiers' "brain ache" in spite of the war's motive. Why must soldiers risk their lives in trenches? Perhaps it is another war rooted in human greed and although the British and German soldiers fought on opposing sides, they were all reminded of the deadly force of nature and question the futility of war. Contextually over 50,000 soldiers had valiantly fell on the battlefield due to the extreme weather condition, whereby the lowest temperature recorded was -20 degrees Celsius. Overall, the readers are tailored to feel empathetic towards the soldiers since we learn most soldiers fought and their "eyes are ice" which shows regardless of foe, the natural forces always overpower humans and in doing so, nature leaves tremendous wounds on its victims. Perhaps, this porm was constructed as a criticism to war and its futility, at the end we are all humans who can get crushed in front of nature.
Similarly, the futility of war is also depicted in the poem 'Remains' with the same nihilistic tone and the theme of suffering as a result of the abuse of power, However, the more psychological and mental effects of war are presented in the poem 'Remains'. For instance we learn through the quote "I see broad daylight on the other side" that the speaker is actively able to recall the gruesome of the civilian. Literally, the writer has suggested that the speaker has seen the sunlight come out from the bullet holes of the victim or perhaps, more figuratively, the light may indicate the "light if heaven" shining down on the victim, creating a pure and innocent image if the victim, juxtaposing the murderer's feelings of regret. Additionally we learn through the quote "his bloody life in my bloody hands" that the speaker's reinforced image of the victim is still vividly in his mind, suggesting he is constantly tormented by guilt as a result of the war. Metaphorically the victim's life is on the man's hands which shows the soldier is acceptive of the fact that he is responsible for murdering an innocent person. The clear repetition of 'bloody' may have been used by Armitage to help the reader imagine the sheer torment that the speaker is reminded of at almost every thought of the victim. This is all in order to tailor us to feel empathetic towards the speaker as we realise that there is genuine feelings of regret and the tone throughout the porm is that of remorse. This encompasses us to criticise the government the same way as we did in 'Exposure'. Contextually, this poem may have talked about the war in Iraq as it is described as 'some sun-stunned, sand-smothered' land, however, it is essentially not limited to this war and as a result it could be a universal experience for all returning soldiers who suffer from PTSD. Following the events of Iraq, over 1,000 British soldiers were reported to have suffered from PTSD which was unfortunate as it meant that social integration was difficult for them so they took "drugs to flush out" the victims like in the poem. Overall, the reader has been tailored to grow very strongly against the war and similarly to 'Exposure', we question the need of destroying a soldier's mental well-being for a war that wins over nothing? Perhaps the soldiers returning from battle are seen as insignificant in the eyes of the government which continue to brew up new wars constantly over materialistic issues, without considering the psychological effects on the soldiers.
In conclusion, in both poems, 'Remains' and 'Exposure', the futility of war is questioned, althought with different experiences of war. In 'Exposure' we learn that the power of nature exceeds that of humans so war is meaningless, but in 'Remains', the psychological consequences on a soldier are not seen as worth the fight. Perhaps, history is always repeating itself so as long as humans live, suffering will always continue since war is nothing but a meaningless fight against both nature and ones own morality.

this is amazing!! i recently had an exam question where of which i ended up comparing Exposure to Remains and your essay was really insightful in another way that you can phrase things. This was really helpful thank you.

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