Analysis- The Hero Brief Summary of Content-In the Poem The Hero Sassoon has presented the hardships that a soldier goes through in the war through the use of the soldier’s death. He also shows the pain of the families left behind by showing the mother’s pain after she finds out that her son as died on the battle fields. The first stanza is introducing the mother at the moment that she finds out her son has died. The mother reads a letter that a Colonel wrote for her and she hides her true feelings about her son’s death because she believes that if she is upset she will dishonour his memory.
In the second stanza the brother officer is introduced and he has lied to the mother about how her son had died. The brother officer is patronising to the mother in this stanza because he lies straight to her face about how her son had died and he is doing it so she would not suffer anymore. In the last stanza the brother officer is remembering how Jack had behaved in his last days. The brother officer portrays Jack as being a coward in his last days on the battlefields and this contradicts what he told the mother.
The last stanza also shows that Jack tried to get home because of the hardships of war but died before he could. The last stanza also shows that no one cares about what happened to Jack except his mother the ‘Lonely woman with white hair’. Themes and Issues raised in poem- Sassoon has included realistic issues in his poem ‘The Hero’. He clearly portrays the death, and pain associated with war. He also shows the fear associated with fighting through Jack’s attitude in the poem.
Quotations to remember- ‘Jack fell as he’d have wished’ ‘The Colonel writes so nicely’ ‘quavered to a choke’ ‘poor old dear some gallant lies’ ‘while he coughed and mumbled’ ‘gentle triumph’ ‘brimmed with joy’ ‘her glorious boy’ ‘Jack cold-footed, useless swine’ ‘went up at wicked corner’ ‘blown to small bits’ ‘lonely woman with white hair’ Comment on the use of descriptive language- In writing the poem ‘The Hero’, Sassoon has presented the readers with a view of the hardships of war and the consequences that war has on families.
By reading this poem I was able to see how much the mother that is talked about in the poem has struggled with the death of her son. Sassoon uses dialogue with the words ‘The colonel writes so nicely’. This is used as a decoy by the mother to not deal with the death of her son. Through the use of dialogue Sassoon allows us to see how much the mother is struggling with the death of her son because no one in her position would be calm or proud. ‘Because he’d been so brave, her glorious boy’. This phrase indicates sarcasm from the brother officer because he knew that her son was not so brave but that she was led to believe that he was brave. No one seemed to care’. This phrase is indicating the attitude of the authorities. Jack had risked his life to go to war and he had died and no one even gives this a thought because dying in war is a very common thing. ‘Of Our dead soldiers’. The mother uses this phrase so she can distance herself from the emotions faced with her son’s death. The mother needs to do this as an outlet to not break down. The structure of the poem- This poem contains three chronological stanzas. As each stanza passes the truth is shown about what really happened to Jack and how his friends and bosses felt about him.