Themes and message

War

The theme of the poem "The Hero” by Siegfried Sassoon is war. By presenting different attitudes to war, the poem suggests that its harsh realities are only known to people who take part in it.

At the beginning of the poem, we see how Jack’s mother is both comforted and deceived by the lie that Jack was a hero who died honorably. Her vision of what happened is distorted, and her image of war becomes idealized.

In the second stanza we begin to see the perspective of people who have actually lived through the horrors of war. The Officer comes across as mocking and cynical, especially towards people like Jack’s mother who can be so easily fooled by beautiful lies. He appears somewhat jaded, as if everything he has lived through has hardened him.

We also see Jack’s per...

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