What Is The Theme Of The Man He Killed By Williams Hardy

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In war, there are no boundaries and only one goal-- to win. The methods people employ to get their side an advantage are ruthless because they are fighting for something that they strongly believe in. That being said, they will do anything they can to get their message across. In the novel Dawn by Elie Wiesel, the main character, Elisha, is faced with a dilemma: whether or not to kill a man in order to help his cause. In the poem “The Man He Killed” by Thomas Hardy also explores a man’s thoughts after killing an enemy. Both of these works demonstrate the concept that one’s beliefs in a greater good can cause one to compromise their morals when facing an enemy. This notion is shown through the authors use of both external and internal …show more content…
This poem describes a man and his thought process after killing someone. The poem takes place during a battle in war. He describes the opposing side as “ranged as infantry,/ And staring face to face” (Hardy). This describes how the man that he killed was definitely on the opposing party and therefore his enemy. The author later goes on to say, “I shot at him as he at me” (Hardy). Both of these men were just trying to kill each other because of the war going on; both of the men believe in their causes enough to be take someone else's life or have theirs taken from them. The narrator “shot him dead because —/ Because he was [the narrator's] foe” (Hardy). It is highly evident throughout the poem that the only reason that he is committing the heinous act is because he is at war and he must do this in order for his side to …show more content…
After killing the man, the narrator thinks about the man was probably a regular, everyday fellow. The narrator wonders, “Had he and I but met/ By some old ancient inn,/ We should have sat us down to wet/ Right many a nipperkin!” (Hardy). He believes that if the circumstances were different they may have been friends. This makes it even harder for him to have done what he did because he know how wrong it was even though he had to due to the war. The narrator thinks about the man and how the man got involved in the war, “He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,/ Off-hand like — just as I — /Was out of work — had sold his traps — / No other reason why “ (Hardy). During this, the narrator find similarities between the man and himself. He realizes that the man he had just killed was in the war for the same reason as himself. As human nature goes, it becomes increasingly difficult to harm someone that is similar to yourself because your brain sees it as hurting yourself. By recognizing their similarities, he sees the innocence in the man. Even through this thought process, the grueling duties of war take over and become the leading motivator when taking

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