Hero by Siegfried Sassoon analysis

Essay by AmberCastleHigh School, 11th grade October 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Downloaded 6 times

'Jack fell as he'd have wished,' the Mother said,

And folded up the letter that she'd read.

'The Colonel writes so nicely.' Something broke

In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.

She half looked up. 'We mothers are so proud

Of our dead soldiers.' Then her face was bowed.

Quietly the Brother Officer went out.

He'd told the poor old dear some gallant lies

That she would nourish all her days, no doubt.

For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes

Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,

Because he'd been so brave, her glorious boy.

He thought how 'Jack', cold-footed, useless swine,

Had panicked down the trench that night the mine

Went up at Wicked Corner; how he'd tried

To get sent home, and how, at last, he died,

Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care

Except that lonely woman with white hair.

The Hero by Siegfried Sassoon

Sassoon titles his poem "The Hero," so the reader assumes the poem will praise a soldier's courage, however, the title deceives the reader as it is about a mother praises her son, fed by the lies of the military and government.

The writer uses rhyming couplets and also some other rhyming patterns.

In the very first sentence, Sassoon highlights one of the main issues with the war. In the line, "Jack fell as he'd have wished," reveals a delusion on not only the mother's side but also on society's. No one wishes to die violently, especially not in a war, and believing that they do makes parents send their children off blindly to the violence occurring on the front line. The mother in the story and many others of this time and place had been brought up to be patriotic and to respect authority,