Back by Henry Green

Essay by tmalone116High School, 12th gradeA, January 2005

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In the excerpt from Back by Henry Green, Green tells the sorrows of a young man (Charley) returning from war. Scared from a lover's death and the effects of war on his mental and physical being, the mood of this piece is deplorable. It is expressed in the excerpt that Charley has some resentment and hostility due to the lack of his presence during the time of his lover Rose's death. Mentally the character refers to most descriptions in a war state of mind.

The excerpt began on a cloudy yet summer day in England. Green is opening the piece with a contrast statement, which shows that even though it is a summer day which is associated with sun and warmth there is a dismal and cold mood. In the excerpt Charley has a tendency to interpret his surroundings with a war related state of mind. "...He noticed well those slits built for defense in the blood coloured brick."

(line 5-6). In reference to the church tower which is usually perceived as a safe haven, it is viewed as a defense mechanism to Charley. He also refers to the bricks as "blood coloured" as a replacement for red. Green's use of negative description in the quote is a reflection of Charley's outlook on his environment.

Roses are a symbol of beauty and romance yet in this excerpt Green utilizes them as a reflection of death. "For, climbing around and up these trees of mourning, was rose after rose, while, here and there, the spray overburdened by the mass of flower..." This is a direct contrast, when one thinks of graveyards roses are not usually in the view. "...he did not wish to be observed. So he no longer watched the roses." Charley, being effected by roses in...