Martin and the Hand Grenade Analysis Summary – By Richard Lau
Martin and the Hand Grenade is a poem written by John Foulcher. It is set in a history lesson in a classroom and narrated most likely by the teacher watching Martin's evident show and tell. Martin and the hand grenade explores the theme of corruption and deeply explores violence and ignorace of it through a couple of techniques and mainly strong imagery.
In the first stanza “Class pauses for history”, and “with his fathers bleak skill”, shows that martin is doing a show and tell for his history lesson. 'Bleak' already brings some negativity with a dull feeling.
The deep imagery of Martin handling the grenade in the second stanza “he fingers the serrations, bristles with shrapnel possibilites”, suggests a sensual mood, as if the boy is being taken to another world. 'Bristles with shrapnel possibilities', could also suggest anger in the narrator, as the boy is just playing with an object which is potentially deadly. This is already exploring a theme, giving an insight in how, a young boy is corrupted with excitement over one of the most horrific weapons of war.
At the end of the second stanza and continuation in the third “Questions. No-it had limited power: ten yards, then the spread became too lose to catch a man's mortality.” The use of 'the spread became to far to catch a man's mortality', is a very interesting use of words in place of just a straight forward, confronting 'kill a man.' This just meant, the radius of fatalility would become too far to claim a life, but the effect of this line is sarcasm. It's as it is questioning why it only kills people in that distance and not further. The line also tries to make the weapon seem better than it actually is with 'limited' power although it still kills people. This is another example which explores the ignorance of violence and corruption.
“And each boy holds the small war” is symbolism of the grenade which was used in the war. As the...