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In his poem "The man he killed," Thomas Hardy depicts the ordeal of battle from the viewpoint of a soldier. The soldier is most likely conversing with a counterpart, as shown by the quotation marks in the poem. The speaker's use of words and title suggests that he or she is emotional as a result of the fighting experience. This explains why he chose to narrate the plot. As he attempts to justify himself and why he killed the other soldier in the third stanza, he experiences sorrow. Therefore, Hardy explicitly integrates emotional appeal and logic in the poem by using a catchy title and war experience to communicate the significance of compassion.
Conversely, 'Dulce at Decorum" written by Wilfred Owen conveys the horror of war and cruelties faced by soldiers in an effort to safeguard the integrity of their nations and citizens. The narrator in this poem feels sad as he talks about the worthlessness of the soldiers trekking through the mud and dirt. He also explains the grief of seeing young boys enthusiastic for glory but suffers immense stress. Equally, Owen conveys the message to the audience by using a tone that describes depression, adversity, and fury.
Contrariwise, 'Dover Beach', a production of Mathew Arnold explores the theme of human despondency resulting from the changing world. The poem highlights the life of a speaker who is happy at the beginning of the first stanza. However, sorrow dawns on the speaker toward the end of the stanza. The basis for the shift in emotional condition is the rolling back and forth of pebbles by the waves. These waves are symbolic of the endless or recurrence of the social challenges that hinder human progress.
The above poems highlight a basic theme of human emotional stability. As evinced in the first and second, the poets portray the effects of war on the psychological stability of the speakers. Similarly, the third poem illustrates that challenges of life detriment or destabilize the emotional stability of individuals.
The fourth poem, 'Letter composed during a Lull in the fighting,' created by Kevin Powers also highlights the war and its consequences on people. Similarly, the emotions of the speaker in the fourth poem are similar to the sentiments in the three poems. The speaker, in this case, writes a letter to communicate the sadness resulting from combat. According to the fourth speaker, trying to cope with the aftershocks of war reminds him of the wars dreads signifying the possibility of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The settings, tones, and irony in the poems
In 'The Man he killed', the setting of the poem could be a bar where the speaker engaged his friend in the conversation. Similarly, the tone enables the audience to visualize and imagine the speaker shooting the guest as he tries to make his friend understand the effect of killing. The speaker's tone in the poem is sarcastic as he exposes the irony as well as irrationality that are an integral part of the warfare.
'Dover Beach' setting is on the beach in Dover, on the southeastern coast of England. Mathew Arnold uses a lonely and somber tone, imagery, personification and simile to emphasize the effect of stress on human emotions. The irony in the poem is witnessed in the main plot of the poem where a man takes a woman to a beautiful beach in France but talks about Sophocles instead of persuading her.
The tone used in 'Dulce at Decorum" portrays disaster and fury. Similarly, the irony presented by the poet is that dying for a nation is not fitting when a person experiences realities of war.
Precisely, the poems jointly explore the broad themes of war and emotional intelligence. The poets use various approaches such as tone and imagery to communicate the public to empower their soldiers and minimize conflicts because of the severe social and emotional challenges. Overall, the poets creatively highlight the plight of the affected, for instance, soldiers and poor citizens to facilitate consensus and rational decision-making.
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