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Evaluate and Compare the Writer's Ideas in Both 'Remains' by Simon Armitage and 'War Photographer' by Carol Ann Duffy

In this worksheet, students will compare the ideas expressed in both poems and evaluate the effectiveness of language.

'Evaluate and Compare the Writer's Ideas in Both 'Remains' by Simon Armitage and 'War Photographer' by Carol Ann Duffy' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA, Pearson Edexcel

Curriculum topic:   Poetry, Poetry Anthology Collections

Curriculum subtopic:   Power and Conflict: 'War Photographer', Conflict: 'War Photographer'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

For this activity, you will need to turn to the poem 'War Photographer' by Carol Ann Duffy and 'Remains' by Simon Armitage. Both poems can be found in your anthology.

 

Both poems explore the haunting memories of war, from the perspective of a war photographer and a soldier.

 

soldiers            

 

 

The main themes running throughout the poems are grief, war, loss, memory, innocence, and violence.

 

In the following questions, you will compare and evaluate the ideas expressed in both poems.

desert tank

 

In order to compare the language techniques used in 'Remains' and 'War Photographer', we need to understand the meaning of both poems. Read the poem 'Remains' and match the questions to the correct answers below.

Column A

Column B

Who is the speaker in this poem?
To tackle looters who were raiding a bank
Why have the soldiers been sent out to the town?
Open fire on the looter
What do all three soldiers agree to do?
He feels guilty about what he did and is haunted b...
Is the looter a threat to the soldiers?
The looter was probably armed, possibly not
How does the soldier feel when he is back at home?
A soldier recently returned from war

 

modern day soldiers

 

Now read the poem 'War Photographer' and match the questions to their answers below:

Column A

Column B

Where has the narrator just come from?
He feels that they do not understand how bad the c...
What does the narrator do as soon as he arrives ho...
The narrator goes to the dark room to process the ...
How does the narrator feel about the conflict he h...
The narrator is shocked and saddened by the suffer...
How does the narrator feel about the people back i...
The narrator has been in a country of conflict tak...

An idea created by both writers is how the men in both poems are haunted by guilt, over the death that they have witnessed during conflict. In the poem 'Remains', the soldier cannot forget about the man he killed and the violence he saw.

story book

Throughout the poem, the writer conveys the idea that the soldier cannot return to England and lead a normal life, as the memory of what he has done will not leave him alone.

 

The following quotations are from the poem 'Remains'. Which quotation would you choose to support the writer's idea above?

 

 

 

"End of story, except not really"

"He's there on the ground"

"And tosses his guts back into his body"

"He bursts again through the doors of the bank"

Now, let's compare how the writer creates the idea of how both men are haunted by guilt in 'Remains', with how the writer creates a similar idea in 'War Photographer'.

 

 

camera

 

 

The writer of 'War Photographer' creates the idea that upsetting memories can have a traumatising impact, which continues long after the event has finished. Even though the photographer has finished their time in the conflict, and are now safe at home, they cannot just go back to normal life and forget what they have seen.

 

 

Read the quotations below from 'War Photographer'. Choose two quotations that you think support the idea created by the writer above.

"The reader’s eyeballs prick with tears"

"Home again to ordinary pain"

"He remembers the cries of this man’s wife"

"How the blood stained into foreign dust"

An idea conveyed by both writers of 'Remains' and 'War Photographer' is that, both men have jobs which bring them into contact with civilian victims.

 

Civilian = A person not in the armed services or the police force.

 

 

shooting soldiers

 

 

The two quotations below are both from the poem 'Remains' and describe how the soldier feels about the civilians he had contact with. Match the quotation to the evaluation.

Column A

Column B

"Probably armed, possibly not"
The soldier is not sure that he was justified in k...
"When I close my eyes dug in behind enemy lines"
The memory of the killing is stored deep within th...

Now, let's compare how the writer creates ideas about dealing with civilian victims in 'Remains', with how the writer creates a similar idea in 'War Photographer'.

 

 

paper people

 

 

The writer of 'War Photographer' creates the idea that the most upsetting harm from conflict, is that experienced by the civilian victims who live in that country. The photographer has seen, and taken pictures of, many people who have been injured, died or lost a loved one to a war that they were not fighting in.

 

 

Read the quotation below from 'War Photographer'. Choose two explanations which you think explains the writer's idea above.

 

 

"How he sort approval without words to do what someone must"

The photographer took pictures without people knowing

The photographer wants people at home to see the suffering caused by conflict

The photographer doesn't believe that people are getting to see how bad the conflict is

The photographer does not want people to see what is going on

An idea conveyed by both writers of 'Remains' and 'War Photographer' is the idea that both men have to cope with the guilt of not being able to help the civilians, as mentioned in the last questions.

 

young girl in war

 

In the poem 'Remains', the soldier has to live with the guilt over the killing of the man, who may not have even been armed and feels as though the man now haunts him.

 

Read the quotations below. Choose two, which you think support the idea that the soldier now feels guilt.

"Then he's carted off in the back of a lorry"

"Dream, and he's torn apart by a dozen rounds"

"So we've hit this looter a dozen times"

"And the drink and the drugs won't flush him out"

Now, let's compare how the writer creates ideas about coping with guilt in 'Remains', with how the writer creates a similar idea in 'War Photographer'.

 

 

newspoaper

 

 

The narrator in 'War Photographer' feels guilt that he hasn't been able to do more for the people in conflict. Although he knows he is doing something good by taking the photographs, he feels real guilt that they are not seen as important by the readers of the newspaper.

 

Read the following quotation from 'War Photographer',

 

"His editor will pick out five or six for Sunday's supplement"

 

Choose two of the explanations below which you think explains the writer's idea above.

The photographer thinks that all of his images are important

The photographer doesn't want his editor to see the photo's

The photographer is frustrated that his editor does not see the importance the images

The photographer can't decide which photo's to choose from

The poem 'War Photographer' uses a collective pronoun to make a strong point about how many people do not care enough about people in war zones.

 

soldiers

 

Collective noun = Collective nouns are the name used for a collection or a number of people/things.

 

The following quotations are all from 'Remains'. Choose one that you think is an example of a collective pronoun.

 

"Then he's carted off in the back of a lorry"

"He earns his living and they do not care"

"He's here in my head when I close my eyes"

"On another occasion"

misty forest

 

Read the following quotations from 'Remains' and 'War Photographer'. Compare how they both use metaphor to describe the horror of war?

 

 

"His blood-shadow stays on the street"

 

"A half-formed ghost"

 

 

In this part of the exam, you will be asked to write a comparison of two poems from your anthology. For this question, you will have to write your own answer using the PEE format - Make a point, give an example and explain with deeper detail.

  • Question 1

desert tank

 

In order to compare the language techniques used in 'Remains' and 'War Photographer', we need to understand the meaning of both poems. Read the poem 'Remains' and match the questions to the correct answers below.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Who is the speaker in this poem?
A soldier recently returned from ...
Why have the soldiers been sent o...
To tackle looters who were raidin...
What do all three soldiers agree ...
Open fire on the looter
Is the looter a threat to the sol...
The looter was probably armed, po...
How does the soldier feel when he...
He feels guilty about what he did...
EDDIE SAYS
This poem is written from the perspective of a soldier who has now returned from war. The poem can be seen to have two parts; as he describes the memory of war and also how he feels now he is at home. Like the 'War Photographer,' the soldier is finding it very hard to forget the conflict he has witnessed.
  • Question 2

 

modern day soldiers

 

Now read the poem 'War Photographer' and match the questions to their answers below:

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Where has the narrator just come ...
The narrator has been in a countr...
What does the narrator do as soon...
The narrator goes to the dark roo...
How does the narrator feel about ...
The narrator is shocked and sadde...
How does the narrator feel about ...
He feels that they do not underst...
EDDIE SAYS
Carol Ann Duffy has friends who are war photographers and has always been fascinated by a job that requires people to record terrible events, without being able to actually help anyone. The poem describes the difficulties of the war photographer as he struggles to deal with moving between a country in conflict and a peaceful country where people often take things for granted. The poem also asks us, as readers, to think about our own reaction to the images of conflict which we see in the media.
  • Question 3

An idea created by both writers is how the men in both poems are haunted by guilt, over the death that they have witnessed during conflict. In the poem 'Remains', the soldier cannot forget about the man he killed and the violence he saw.

story book

Throughout the poem, the writer conveys the idea that the soldier cannot return to England and lead a normal life, as the memory of what he has done will not leave him alone.

 

The following quotations are from the poem 'Remains'. Which quotation would you choose to support the writer's idea above?

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"End of story, except not really"
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "End of story, except not really" creates the idea of the contrast between how the soldier thought he would feel (when he returned from war) and how he actually feels. The phrase "end of story" suggests that the soldier didn't expect to feel any guilt connected to his role in the war.
  • Question 4

Now, let's compare how the writer creates the idea of how both men are haunted by guilt in 'Remains', with how the writer creates a similar idea in 'War Photographer'.

 

 

camera

 

 

The writer of 'War Photographer' creates the idea that upsetting memories can have a traumatising impact, which continues long after the event has finished. Even though the photographer has finished their time in the conflict, and are now safe at home, they cannot just go back to normal life and forget what they have seen.

 

 

Read the quotations below from 'War Photographer'. Choose two quotations that you think support the idea created by the writer above.

CORRECT ANSWER
"He remembers the cries of this man’s wife"
"How the blood stained into foreign dust"
EDDIE SAYS
The writer of 'War Photographer' creates the idea that if a memory is powerful, or upsetting enough, it will be very difficult to forget. The war photographer could easily forget about the people he has photographed - why wouldn't he? He is safe, he is comfortable and his life is not in immediate danger. The writer conveys the idea that the human cost of conflict, when it is experienced in person, is something deeply troubling and unforgettable.
  • Question 5

An idea conveyed by both writers of 'Remains' and 'War Photographer' is that, both men have jobs which bring them into contact with civilian victims.

 

Civilian = A person not in the armed services or the police force.

 

 

shooting soldiers

 

 

The two quotations below are both from the poem 'Remains' and describe how the soldier feels about the civilians he had contact with. Match the quotation to the evaluation.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

"Probably armed, possibly not"
The soldier is not sure that he w...
"When I close my eyes dug in behi...
The memory of the killing is stor...
EDDIE SAYS
The narrator has time to consider how he dealt with the civilians in war and the phrase "probably armed, possibly not" suggests that he might not have been justified in killing the man. The phrase "dug in" is used to express how deep this memory is in the soldiers head, it suggests that he will never stop thinking about the dead man.
  • Question 6

Now, let's compare how the writer creates ideas about dealing with civilian victims in 'Remains', with how the writer creates a similar idea in 'War Photographer'.

 

 

paper people

 

 

The writer of 'War Photographer' creates the idea that the most upsetting harm from conflict, is that experienced by the civilian victims who live in that country. The photographer has seen, and taken pictures of, many people who have been injured, died or lost a loved one to a war that they were not fighting in.

 

 

Read the quotation below from 'War Photographer'. Choose two explanations which you think explains the writer's idea above.

 

 

"How he sort approval without words to do what someone must"

CORRECT ANSWER
The photographer wants people at home to see the suffering caused by conflict
The photographer doesn't believe that people are getting to see how bad the conflict is
EDDIE SAYS
The war photographer feels frustrated that people in England do not have a clear picture of what is happening in the conflict. The quotation "how he sought approval without words to do what someone must" describes a time when he wanted to take pictures of a man who had died. He politely asks permission to do this as he believes that he has a "duty" to make sure that everyone gets to see what is happening to these innocent people.
  • Question 7

An idea conveyed by both writers of 'Remains' and 'War Photographer' is the idea that both men have to cope with the guilt of not being able to help the civilians, as mentioned in the last questions.

 

young girl in war

 

In the poem 'Remains', the soldier has to live with the guilt over the killing of the man, who may not have even been armed and feels as though the man now haunts him.

 

Read the quotations below. Choose two, which you think support the idea that the soldier now feels guilt.

CORRECT ANSWER
"Dream, and he's torn apart by a dozen rounds"
"And the drink and the drugs won't flush him out"
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "Dream, and he's torn apart by a dozen rounds" tells the reader that the man feels so much guilt over what he has done that he has nightmares about it every time he sleeps. The man is trying to get rid of these memories by taking drugs and drinking, but it isn't working.
  • Question 8

Now, let's compare how the writer creates ideas about coping with guilt in 'Remains', with how the writer creates a similar idea in 'War Photographer'.

 

 

newspoaper

 

 

The narrator in 'War Photographer' feels guilt that he hasn't been able to do more for the people in conflict. Although he knows he is doing something good by taking the photographs, he feels real guilt that they are not seen as important by the readers of the newspaper.

 

Read the following quotation from 'War Photographer',

 

"His editor will pick out five or six for Sunday's supplement"

 

Choose two of the explanations below which you think explains the writer's idea above.

CORRECT ANSWER
The photographer thinks that all of his images are important
The photographer is frustrated that his editor does not see the importance the images
EDDIE SAYS
The writer creates the idea of a sense of frustration throughout the poem, as the photographer wishes that they could help the innocent people. The photographer thinks they are helping them by taking the pictures, but knows that things will only change if other people in England also feel upset by the images - which they don't. The quotation "his editor will pick out five or six for Sunday’s supplement" shows the photographers frustration that his editor does not seem to truly care about the photos and the war zone they represent.
  • Question 9

The poem 'War Photographer' uses a collective pronoun to make a strong point about how many people do not care enough about people in war zones.

 

soldiers

 

Collective noun = Collective nouns are the name used for a collection or a number of people/things.

 

The following quotations are all from 'Remains'. Choose one that you think is an example of a collective pronoun.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"He earns his living and they do not care"
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "He earns his living and they do not care" employs an accusatory tone. The photographer is grouping together the readers of the newspaper, as he feels as though they are all the same in the way that they do not care enough about the people in war zones. This final line emphasises his resentment of the luxury life they lead.
  • Question 10

misty forest

 

Read the following quotations from 'Remains' and 'War Photographer'. Compare how they both use metaphor to describe the horror of war?

 

 

"His blood-shadow stays on the street"

 

"A half-formed ghost"

 

 

In this part of the exam, you will be asked to write a comparison of two poems from your anthology. For this question, you will have to write your own answer using the PEE format - Make a point, give an example and explain with deeper detail.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Example Paragraph: Both 'Remains' and 'War Photographer' use metaphor to describe an image of conflict that they cannot forget. The soldier in 'Remains' says "his blood-shadow stays on the street" which suggests that he is seeing the blood long after it is really gone and the metaphor "shadow" is used to create a ghostly image of the man. Similarly, the photographer uses a metaphor to describe how he sees a "half-formed ghost" in his photograph, which suggests that he is haunted by what he has seen, even when he is back in the safety of England.

Although the whole of this question is marked out of 30, for this answer the student will only be making one comparison point (AQA recommends that the student makes 3 comparison points throughout the essay) so we will mark this answer out of 10.
In order to gain full marks on this question the student should have written an extended paragraph that follows the PEE structure.
You should find a point, an example and an explanation which links both poems together.
The paragraph should include quotations, language techniques and some evaluation.

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