The depression of the young soldier before he commits suicide is clearly displayed in the poem.
At the start of the poem, the image of a happy, young, and perhaps rather naïve boy is placed before us;
‘Simple’ tells us that he is innocent, perhaps rather naïve, and doesn’t understand the concept of war.
‘Grinned at life in empty joy’ suggests to us that he was pleased by anything, a happy carefree young man. He was young and had no worries because he enjoyed life and did as he pleased. He made life seem easy and happy even when times were bad. It also given us a notion of how immature the boy turned into a soldier and sent to war must have been.
‘Slept soundly through …show more content…
This quotation has a link to the previous stanza; ‘no one spoke of him again’; the crowds cheer those on who come home and think that they care and understand about the war, but with so many dead and forgotten, this pretence seems rather ridiculous when a boy has just died and been forgotten as if he never existed.
‘With kindling eye’ represents the crowd’s eyes lighting up when the soldiers go by. This line is a metaphor; ‘kindling’ represents the starting of a fire, so here represents the light shining in the eyes of the crowd. Perhaps this line is used to show that the crowd assumes a superficial countenance when the soldiers go by; they want to show that they are patriotic, that they understand and appreciate what the soldiers have been through, when clearly Sassoon is saying that they don’t; the crowds view participation in the war as a glorious thing, when the soldiers know themselves there is nothing glorious about the trenches and the horrors that occur there.
The word ‘kindling’ also reveals that Sassoon views the crowds as hypocritical; they think that they understand what war is like, that they appreciate everything the soldiers have done for them, when in reality they don’t