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The Man He Killed

Thomas Hardy

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Added by: D
The poem is just showing that in any other circumstances, such as at a bar, he never would have killed him.
Added by: Kara
I really enjoyed this poem. I think that it portrays the thoughts and emotions that accompany shooting somebody while at war. The man being shot at is just as innocent as the one shooting when at war and the reasons to shoot are simply because It's War. Thomas Hardy is satirizing war because it seems pointless that the two must fight when otherwise they could have been friends.
The Man He Killed Review
Added by: D.B.
This is a a great poem in which the author decribes, in both the first and third person, the fate and chance of two men. Both enlisted in war on opposing sides for like reasons, ( both out of work) have come by chance and must fight. Under any other circumstances they could have shared a few drinks and a possible friendship since both seemed to be previous trappers. The attitude expressed in this poem is that of satire, or dark humor. There is no bitterness, but Hardy's writing of the poem indicates that he was indeed thoughtful towards this event. I think help to half-a-crown is a metaphor or slang term for going on a drunk. :)
Added by: bill
if he and i sat down in a bar to have a fow bears .
war is stupid, you killed for no reason.
i shot him become he was my enemy.
Added by: Monster Kabasue
Does any one else think that the first cople of lines makes the poem some what retrospective to the persons thoughts. Becasue he does not "dive" INTO the meaning of the poem till the second set of lines
The Man He Killed, By Thomas Hardy
Added by: Sean
I have heard many people comment on this poem who have misunderstood the meanings of certain words in the poem. Half a crown is a samll amount of money, something like 60 cents. And "traps" means belongings.
Added by: Weary Warrior
The reason he does not 'dive' into the meat of the story is that in the first 2 stanzas or sets of lines the main character is confident in that what he did was right. This is also shown in the sentance structure, which is strong. In the last 3 stanzas he begins to doubt why he did what he did, and is disturbed by the fact that the man he shot was as innocent as he, also his sentance structures become more broken as his innitial assumptions and logic breaks down.

BTW- the word Nipperkin means a small container of liquor, so he did comment on getting drunk with the fellow, just not with the word half-a-crown.
"the man.."
Added by: meghan
The point is not that the speaker would not killed the man in other circumstances, that is obvious. The poem is ment to humanize the soldiers(possibly during WWI). The speaker is showing that given the same set of misfate, two men ended up in the same pardoxal situation, and under the directive of those who seem to control the parliment (common man), being symbolized as the "war", anyone of us are at risk of commiting acts that go against our true nature or morality. That is to say that if we are to take the meaning of this poem in another more modern, or even antiquity context, the meaning would still hold true. Only the set and cast of a characters would change ( i.e todays media manipulation of and the creation of pop culture, or in the past, fundamentalist regimes catalysizing hysteria).
Added by: Sammie Ayres
i really enjoyed this peom,it makes u think of why he done killed the other man and why there were up for war.
in response
Added by: Dave
in response to meghan, you're leaving out the fact that Hardy died in 1928 which proves that he could not have possibly written about WWII. It is more likely he is writing about the revolutionary war as the soldiers had to be close enough to see each others faces(short range of muskets and inaccuracy as the narrator did not get killed and saw the enemy's face) and how americans split apart to form the loyalists and rebels who could have easily have drank with each other before the war.

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