Kill or Be Killed
In "The Man He Killed," Thomas Hardy introduces key syntactical elements such as restatement, repetition, and ellipsis in order to emphasize the contemplation he experiences regarding his fault in another man's death. In the poem, the narrator attempts to justify why he killed another person. However, as the poem continues the narrator then realizes that the man he killed could have possibly been a friend and have had the same intentions for enlisting in the army, and were thus not that different.
In the poem, the narrator expresses the reason he killed another man when he states, "I shot him dead because— / Because he was my foe," (Hardy 9-10). Through the repetition of the word "because," the narrator displays his uncertainty that killing another person is justified simply because that man received a label of an enemy. Hardy then uses restatement in a further attempt to persuade himself that killing another man is acceptable when he states, "Because he was my foe, / Just so—my foe of course he was;" (Hardy 10-11). When the narrator first states that the man was his foe, he sounds unsure of his justification. However, when he restates that the man was his foe, he seems to have convinced himself of this l...