Do you agree that the word ‘asleep’ is used in an ironical way by the poet in the poem? Illustrate your opinion.

Ans The poem, ‘Asleep in the Valley’, is ironically titled. Irony lies in the word ‘asleep’. In the poem the soldier appears to be sleeping to rest his tired limbs. The word ‘asleep’ is suggestive of the happy state of the soldier at the end of a war. Nature protects him from catching cold and provides bed and pillow to ensure a sound sleep. But soon the reader’s assumptions are proved false. The soldier is not enjoying the healing effect of sleep. He is actually dead. The bullet injuries that are made at his side evoke pity. Through the ironical use of the word ‘asleep’, the poet suggests that death is inevitable to a soldier.

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