Speaker

The poem “The Hero” by Siegfried Sassoon is written in the third-person. The speaker of the poem is the Officer, who first presents the mother’s perspective and then offers his own, opposing view.

In the first part of the poem, the speaker is only a witness. He listens as Jack’s mother speaks highly of her son, stating that she is proud of him: “We mothers are so proud / Of our dead soldiers” (ll. 5-6). The speaker presents her words and gestures, allowing the readers access to what she is probably feeling. From the mother’s body language, we can understand her grief at Jack’s death. Her voice breaks and “quavered to a choke” (l. 4), her head is bowed. Her grief however is soothed by her conviction that Jack died bravely: “her weak eyes/ Had shone with gen...

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