"My Enemy, the Stranger" References to Thomas Hardy's " The Man He Killed"

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In a time of increased tensions in our global society, imminent war is seen as an ever present reality. While this may be the case, it is prevalent for societies around the world to ask the daunting questions. Who is really the enemy? Who are we really hurting with war? These questions are for the most part neglected throughout the civilized world as ego and/or politics seems to have been put on a grander scale then human life. Logic would dictate that soldiers in the battlefield, not the leaders of the warring governments; face the full and immediate repercussions of military action. In Thomas Hardy's poem, "The Man He Killed," the "evils of war" is observed. This imaginative poem brings to attention two complete and utter strangers, who become full fledged enemies, due to the "evils of war."

        War or the "glory of war" has been romanticized throughout history. From tales of chivalrous men dying in battle, to stories of stronger "righteous" nations overthrowing rogue governments, war has deemed justifiable and honorable.

While their exits instances where war has not been justified fully, the affect on the men and women fighting the war is apparent. Hardy's protagonist in "The Man He Killed," is deeply affected by the fact that he killed a complete stranger, one of which he had no qualms or grievances towards. The protagonist states, "I shot him dead because he was my foe" (Hardy 707) and continues with the significant statement of "No other reason why" (Hardy 707). This is

important in understanding the underlining meaning of this literary work because it shows the affect of war on the soldiers in the battlefield.

        Furthermore, in Hardy's poem, the men's decision to go to war (on opposite sides) was influenced by necessity. Hardy states," He thought he'd...