In Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Hyaenas", how does the language express the poet's views on war?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Through the language, Kipling expresses distaste, repugnance, and anger at the sad futility of war, and at the many animals (hyaenas) and people that grow fat and rich from the profits that are gleaned during wartime.  He describes the dead people as "meat", "corpse", "pitiful", which shows the after-effects of war; human soldiers, people with souls and lives, converted into empty shells of corpses.  He describes the insensitivity of the hyaenas as they profit from the war.  They "snout the bushes" and "dig", how the death occurred "troubles them not", they are "resolute they shall eat", and mercilessley "tug the corpse" as they fight over the remains.  These words reflect how animal-like and insensitive these dogs are to the dead, to the war, to the lives that have been shed.  Then, in the last line, he offers an excuse to the hyaenas, saying that they do not "defile the dead man's name-that is reserved for his kind."  In other words, hyaenas exist to live off of the dead; they were made that way, and can do no differently; as a result, they are not being disrespectful to the dead soldier.  However, human hyaenas, who profit from the war, have no such excuse.  They use the dead, the war, and all of its sadnesses as an opportunity to make money.  They do defile the dead's name because they choose to treat him as a means to riches and wealth.

I hope that those thoughts help a bit; good luck!