Drummer Hodge' by Thomas Hardy Essay

Drummer Hodge' by Thomas Hardy Essay

Length: 834 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Drummer Hodge' by Thomas Hardy

Drummers were usually the very youngest of soldiers and were
considered to be too young to fight. This instantly sets a very sombre
tone as the reader realises the soldier was very young when he died.
The word 'Hodge' is used to describe him and was once used as a
derogatory term for a farm labourer however Hardy means no disrespect
as he has openly showed his admiration for countrymen. This term is
merely one of many techniques used to emphasis how foreign the Drummer

'A Dead Boche' by Robert Graves describes an encounter with a dead
"Boche"; the word boche was an offensive term for a German. These two
poems are instantly different as one is written about a fellow
Englishman whilst the other is written about an enemy.

The first stanza in 'Drummer Hodge' shows the horror of the soldier's
death and burial in a strange land:

"They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest

Uncoffined - just as found

His landmark is a kopje-crest"

The word "throw" shows how disrespectful Hodge's burial is, he is not
lowered with dignity or given a proper military burial as he should be
entitled to. He is not even placed in a coffin and is buried "just as
found" making him sound more like an object than a person. The
Afrikaans words "kopje-crest" and "veldt" emphasise the foreignness of
Hodge's resting place, which is also highlighted again by the
reference to the "foreign constellations" that will rise nightly over
his grave. Graves' poem contrasts with this as it focuses more on how
the German visually looks and doesn't evoke the emotional feeling that
is brought about by the alienation in Hardy's poem. Gr...

... middle of paper ...

and immunity to the horrors as he describes the dead German in a
cynical and matter-of-fact way.

It could be seen that Hardy describes the death of the soldier in an
idealised way. The imagery of stars and resting with the
constellations over the soldier is aromantic and pleasant way to be.
However his protagonist is a young boy who dies away from his home,
who will forever be under a sky he doesn't know and will eventually go
on to nourish the people he was fighting against. This seems to be
very realistic and cynical. Graves describes the dead German with very
simple and visual adjectives which instantly conjure up images in the
reader's mind. His view of the dead soldier could be seen as realistic
yet his tone, especially in the first stanza, suggests a cynicism that
makes his poem seem traumatic.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Thomas Hardy’s Drummer Hodge

- Thomas Hardy’s “Drummer Hodge’ is a poem that laments on the horrors of war. It particularly focuses on the personal tragedy of a young innocent boy from Hardy’s Wessex. This is however effective due to the fact that it makes the character win over more sympathy from us readers as we are able to acknowledge to a greater extent, the tragedy of this individual. The first verse tells us that the “Drummer Hodge” was thrown into a grave uncoffined which shows the lack of acknowledgement for his life and character....   [tags: Free Essay Writer]

Free Essays
519 words (1.5 pages)

The Portrayal of War in the Poems, The Cry of South Africa and Drummer Hodge

- Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English author who considered himself mainly as a poet. A large part of his work was set mainly in the semi-fictional land of Wessex. In 1898 Hardy published a collection of poems written over 30 years, Wessex Poems his first volume of poetry. Emma Lavinia Gifford, Hardy’s wife, whom he married in 1874. He became alienated from his wife, who died in 1912; her death had a traumatic effect on him. He remained preoccupied with his first wife's death and tried to overcome his sorrow by writing poetry, he dictated his final poem to his first wife on his deathbed....   [tags: Poetry Analysis, Poem Comparison]

Better Essays
735 words (2.1 pages)

Attitudes to War in Dulce et Decorum est and Drummer Hodge. Essay

- Attitudes to War in Dulce et Decorum est and Drummer Hodge. Life wasn't easy for soldiers in the war as Wilfred Owen and Thomas Hardy express strongly in their legendary poems 'Dulce et Decorum est' and 'Drummer Hodge'. Peter Porter writes about the situation people may find themselves in when in, his poem 'Your Attention Please', he describes an announcement concerning a nuclear Rocket Strike. Wilfred Owen died at the age of 25 and was killed seven days before the end of World War 1. He is regarded as one of the most well-known war poets of the 20th Century, having written an astonishing 110 poems....   [tags: English Literature]

Better Essays
2050 words (5.9 pages)

The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy Essay

- Out of so many authors, writers, and poets, Thomas Hardy was far the most sincere and the most famous writer that made an impact in English literature during the Victorian times. He accomplished many things and wrote a lot of books, poems, and novels. Most of his stories were not really similar to the plot of his life, but his writing career lasted about fifty years long maybe more. At first publishers rejected some of his very first novels and poetry, but even though this occurred he kept doing what he did best and that was to write....   [tags: Thomas Hardy, authors,]

Better Essays
772 words (2.2 pages)

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy Essay

- Far From the Madding Crowd is considered the first great novel of Thomas Hardy. Margaret Drabble, editor and novelist, cites the novel as "the first of Thomas Hardy's great novels, and the first to sound the tragic note for which his fiction is best remembered" (Hardy xiii). Hardy was born in 1840 and began life as an architect. He wrote his first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, in 1867. It was not received well. Four years later he wrote three more novels, two anonymously and one bearing his name; they were received slightly better then the first....   [tags: Thomas Hardy]

Free Essays
1128 words (3.2 pages)

Thomas Hardy's Tess Of The Durbervilles Essay

- Thomas Hardy's Tess Of The Durbervilles In this essay I will contrast and explain the description of Flintcomb Ash and Tolbothays Dairy. These two places are very important, because each place shows an important time in Tess' life. Hardy uses Tolbothays Dairy to represent the love and happiness she found and the chance for a new beginning after what happened with Alec. Alec raped her, he saw her as an object of desire. He took away her innocence. This was replaced with the burden of a child that dies....   [tags: Thomas Hardy Tess Durbervilles Essays]

Better Essays
1778 words (5.1 pages)

A Comparison of November, 1806 (Wordsworth) to the Men of Kent (Wordsworth), Drummer Hodge (Hardy), and The Charge of the Light Brigade (Lord Alfred T

- A Comparison of November, 1806 (Wordsworth) to the Men of Kent (Wordsworth), Drummer Hodge (Hardy), and The Charge of the Light Brigade (Lord Alfred Tennyson) The themes in November, 1806; To the men of Kent; The Charge of the Light Brigade; and Drummer Hodge are all war-based. They all contain the themes of death, war and some sense of victory in that in both of Wordsworth's poems, it is directly about the victory in a battle. In Drummer Hodge, it is that his family shall never forget him....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
777 words (2.2 pages)

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy Essay

- One of Thomas Hardy’s greatest works: ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles‘ was first published in 1891, a novel set in the fictional county of Wessex, Britain. By the time of its appearance, Hardy was considered to be on of England’s leading writers and had already published several well known novels including ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ and ‘The Woodlanders’ as well as numerous other short stories. However in spite of his reputation and fame, Hardy had immense difficulty finding a publication prepared to publish Tess when he offered it for serialization to London reviewers....   [tags: Thomas Hardy Tess Urbervilles Essays]

Free Essays
4992 words (14.3 pages)

Analysis of Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy Essay

- Analysis of Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy The depth of artistic unity found in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles pervades every chapter of the novel. No one chapter is less important than another because each is essential in order to tell the tragic tale of Tess Durbeyfield. There is never an instance in Hardy's prose that suggests frill or excess. Themes of the Industrial Revolution in England, the status of women during Victorian England, Christianity vs. Paganism, matters of nobility, and the role that fatalism plays in life weave together with various symbols to create an amazing flow to his novel....   [tags: Thomas Hardy Tess of the D'Urbervilles Essays]

Better Essays
3699 words (10.6 pages)

Michael Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy Essay

- Michael Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy Michael Henchard is a character with traits that have both a positive and negative traits effect on his life. I believe the characteristics that allowed Henchard to rise to social respectability and fall into destitution where the same. "Character is fate"(Plato) For example Henchard stubbornness and pride allowed him to keep his 21-year vow not to drink. This shows his stubbornness brought an aspect forbearance....   [tags: The Mayor of Casterbridge Thomas Hardy]

Better Essays
603 words (1.7 pages)