The poem “Five Ways To Kill a Man” by Edwin Brock expresses how over the years, each generation has had its way of killing people. Brock has taken sections from the past 20 centuries to create a diverse & unique poem. It sends a message conveying the inhumane act from the people of the 21st century as it has found ways to kill people in a more tragic way than past events. The purpose of Brocks poem “Five Ways To Kill a Man” is to describe how disappointed and displeased Brock feels about today’s society and how inhumane everyone is acting. At the beginning of the poem, Brock describes the killing to be very personal with everyone touching and crowding around Jesus. As it progresses, the killing gets increasingly impersonal, to the point at the end where one is able to kill a lot more people with no hands on.
In “Five Ways To Kill a Man” Brock begins to describe the manner in which a man can be efficiently killed. In the first stanza, the allusion of the crucifixion of Jesus is referred to with the lines “You can make him carry a plank of wood/to the top of a hill and nail him to it”. This emotionless tone underlines the lack of humanity that is fast becoming an advocacy for warfare. Brock has numerously used alliteration for effect. For example “a clock that crows, a cloak to dissect”, the “c” sound is sharp emphasizing the seriousness and callous tone that Brock is trying to get across to the reader. Contribution to this tone also includes lines like “one man to hammer the nails home”. This is written as though nailing Jesus to the cross was seen a good thing to everyone, and the solemnness, sacrifice and sadness of Jesus