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Suicide In The Trenches Analysis



Author: poem of Siegfried Sassoon Type: poem Views: 47

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I knew a simple soldier boy

Who grinned at life in empty joy,

Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,

And whistled early with the lark.



In winter trenches, cowed and glum,

With crumps and lice and lack of rum,

He put a bullet through his brain.

No one spoke of him again.



You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye

Who cheer when soldier lads march by,

Sneak home and pray you'll never know

The hell where youth and laughter go.





Submitted by Tom Burrows






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Throughout the poem, there is a rhyming scheme - this is shown in 'boy' and 'joy'. The poem is reminiscent of a nursery rhyme which symoblises the youth of the boys who went to war. Furthermore, a sense of irony is created due to the dark subject matter of suicide and the poem structure of a nursery rhyme. Sasoon is attacking the earlier views of the war - held by 'smug faced crowds at home'. This is what I have picked up from the poem hope its good mother****rs

| Posted on 2016-11-11 | by a guest


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'Who grinned at life in empty joy' means that the boy is really simple and he doesn't need anything else to be happy. However, it could also mean that he's miserable and doesn't know what makes him happy

| Posted on 2016-10-01 | by a guest


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Sassoon tries to create sorrow in the reader
"grinned at life in empty joy"
he shows the boy as happy but we feel sad as it is empty, he doesn't know his goals or what he was happy about

| Posted on 2010-03-27 | by a guest


.: :.

Sassoon affects the reader by creating a dark, dismal and gloomy atmosphere to describe how it was in the trenches in 1916. Surrounded by rats, the continuous sound of gunshots and the stench of waste lingered in the air like thick fog. For example, in line five the adjective ‘winter’ is used to give the reader the thought of a cold harsh season. Winter is generally associated with a bitter numbing cold that seems to be the cause of minimum life of animals and plants. It seems like the world dies for the few months of winter. Also the verb ‘cowed’ makes the reader feel sorry for anyone in the trenches because they were beaten down and broke. The soldiers were ruined and depressed, their mental health was a total shambles. Sassoon was not in a very good psychological state himself. He was nicknamed ‘mad Jack’ but his dose of madness made him fearless and he single-handedly captured a German trench. In addition the verb ‘glum’ puts across to the reader a sad and pitiful scene of gloominess filling the trenches. Glum seems to sum up the whole sad feeling. Consequently, line five in suicide in the trenches puts across to the reader, that the trenches in the war are basically hell on earth. They are the worst place you could ever want to be. Sassoon loathed the war and tried to help others who hadn’t yet signed up to the war, to learn from his mistake of ruining his life. The reader almost sighs at the difficulties and harshness of the trenches. Sassoon writes from experience.

| Posted on 2010-03-23 | by a guest


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Sassoon uses hell imagery to create an evil, horrific and atrocious atmosphere for the reader. For example the noun ‘hell’ is used as a metaphor which makes the reader shiver with fear. Hell is a horrible place and is used as a consequence and a punishment if you commit sin. It must be really bad as most people try to be good so the don’t go to hell. The home of evil and destined spirits crammed with horned demons and red devils. It is a metaphor because it says that hell goes somewhere however hell is a noun and can’t actually go somewhere. Also the phrase ‘hell where youth and laughter go’ is emotive language and makes the reader feel scared because the people at home who sent the soldiers to war in hell. Sassoon manages to sum the message up just in one line, whilst giving a great impact of horror; the reader can empathise and understand. In addition in line twelve the noun and verb ‘youth and laughter’ makes the reader feel as if when the boys went to war they were deprived of everything and they were like corpses. They had nothing left they where ruined. They were deprived of their youth and had no fun and laughter in their lives. Throughout verse three Sassoon uses a bitter angry tone as if regretting going to war and angry that men are still being recruited. He shows his own point of view by doing this and he addresses the reader. Sassoon expresses his anger toward the war, though in the last verse his anger is directed to all the people back home, to show them what it really feels like to be fighting for their country. Sassoon uses his experience to try and warn people to learn from his mistake and not to fight in the war and waste their lives.

| Posted on 2010-03-23 | by a guest


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Siegfried Sassoon’s “Suicide in the Trenches” was based upon the life of a soldier, telling his story regarding a fellow tommy who had committed suicide. The younger soldiers enlisted in the army were believed to have no aspirations for the future.
It then goes on to explain how the soldiers were forced to deal with the huge amount of deaths they witnessed everyday. In this poem he expresses his anger toward the war, though in the last stanza his anger is directed to all the people back home, to show them what it really feels like to be fighting for their country. To show them the trauma of what they are going through.
The last line of the whole poem is the most powerful, “The hell where youth and laughter go.” Sassoon manages to sum the message up just in one line, whilst giving us a great impact of horror, so we can empathise & understand.
LOL

| Posted on 2009-06-17 | by a guest




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