How does Hughes present the effects of war in ‘Bayonet Charge’?
Hughes presents how war leads a soldier to re-evaluate both his relationship with his nation and his reasons for fighting. The soldier jettisons traditional motivations for war, echoes of Great War propaganda, replacing them with his own desperate need to survive: “King, honour, human dignity, etcetera / Dropped like luxuries.” The simile suggests these motivations are weights holding the soldier back, an un-ending list of frivolous items that must be discarded in the leap for survival.
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