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Survivors – Siegfried Sassoon

No doubt they’ll soon get well; the shock and strain
Have caused their stammering, disconnected talk.
Of course they’re ‘longing to go out again,’—
These boys with old, scared faces, learning to walk.

Meaning
  • No doubt – There is no doubt
  • They’ll – The wounded soldiers
  • The shock and strain – The shock that they got during the war
  • Stammering – Stuttering; difficulty in speaking
  • Disconnected – Having lost connections; Speaking nonsense
  • Longing – Hoping
  • Go out – Go to war
  • These boys – These soldiers
  • Scared – Frightened
  • Learning to walk – They are trying to walk again
Questions
  1. Who are they? From what will they get well?
    They are the survivors of the war. They are expected to get well from the shock and trauma caused by war.
  2. What was the impact of war that they suffered?
    The impact of the war upon the survivors was that they have gone speechless due to the shock of the war. They were haunted by the ghosts of their friends killed in the war and they hated war and those who had asked and inspired them to go to war.
  3. Why are they called ‘boys?’
    The survivors are called boys because they have been reduced to inexperienced boys in the world of war. Besides, like boys, the surviving soldiers were immature in their decision to join the army and to be inspired to go to war.
  4. What has scared their faces? What are they learning? How have they been made unable to walk?
    The scary memories of the war have scared the faces of the survivors. They are learning to come back to normalcy in life as babies learn to walk. The war experience, the injury that they bore in their heart rather than in their limbs, made them unable to walk.
Next – Stanza 02

What do you think?

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