The Man He Killed
by Thomas Hardy
The Man He Killed Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
By some old ancient inn, (2)
Not that you would be expected to know this, but it wasn't typical for middle-class or wealthy Englishmen to drink at inns like this. Ancient inns were more for the rough-around-the-edges types.
"But ranged as infantry, (5)
Wealthy, educated men in the military were often officers of one sort or another, and infantrymen were lower-class men hoping to distinguish themselves in battle. This was one way to rise in society, but it's also a strong indication of just how much class matters on the battlefield. After all, it's the working class infantry men who die in the greatest numbers—they're the ones on the front lines.
Was out of work—had sold his traps— (15)
The speaker is letting us know that he didn't have much choice but to join the army, because he had no job or money. Sure, he's saying it about the man he killed, but he might as well be sharing his own life story. It's clear this guy was not a born warrior.