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'A Comparison Of Differing Views/Attitudes To War With Reference To Regeneration, Strange Meeting, Selected Poetry and A Journeys End'

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Introduction

'A Comparison Of Differing Views/Attitudes To War With Reference To Regeneration, Strange Meeting, Selected Poetry and A Journeys End' David Lloyd George once commented, in a highly patriotic sense upon 'the making of a new Europe-a new world', to what degree was this true is debatable to a great extent, after all the armistice signed on November 11th 1918, didn't confirm victory but only to learn a horrific number of 9,000,000 million fatalities were caused due to world war 1. Surely enough this was a new Europe? As a country, life would go on in England, but for wives, children and family the tragedy seemed to live on. For many the thought of a war had urged men to fight for their country and 'do their bit'. This was the pinpoint of where the tragic narrative begun. At first war was encouraged and seen as very exciting, but during and after the war these views changed dramatically. Many of the opinions, feelings and views on war have been reflected in many different types of literature. Novels such as 'Regeneration' and 'Strange Meeting' illustrate the emotions, which were carried by most world war one soldiers. 'A Journeys End' and Gallipoli' also take us through a narrative of happy, sad, tragic and anxious moments. The visual aid is advantageous to the audience as we are able to distinguish between the characters behaviour by seeing how each one responds to the reality of war. Many of the poems also provide in depth knowledge of attitudes towards the war, as they can be trusted due to time that they were created in. in many ways these poems written before and after the war reflect the truth behind the feeling of war. Poetry was a superb device for expressing the soldier's honesty and thoughts, particularly the well known Wilfred Owen and Seigfried Sassoon. The pre war poems most definitely would have been pro war, as at this time no one was aware of the deadly consequences after the war. ...read more.

Middle

Seigfried Sassoon was a British officer, who spent much of the war at the front. Sassoon poetry is amongst the greatest in providing not only imagery, but in depth description of the hellish madness out on the front. What was so unique about Sassoon was he didn't focus around the sadness of war, but rather the causes of it. In his poems he shows his bitterness is a cause because the men around him sacrificed their lives for no reason but for the egos of the political classes of Britain and Europe. He also went as far as criticising the military officers; he believed their tactics were wrong. In 'Counter-Attack', he blames the military officer that 'the counter attack had failed' Sassoon challenges poems such as 'The Dead', in his own 'The Hero'. 'The Hero' would simply be seen as yet another honourable poem, but in this poem, it contradicts the idea of honour and he says it's all false. 'Quietly the Brother officer went out He'd told the poor old dear some gallant lies' He shows not only his opinion but also the reality of these authority figures in society. If the dead were there to honour, then surely enough lying to their families about how they died would be dishonourable. It's very saddening that the grieving family and friends would forever carry false memories. It clearly shows no respect and that each soldier was just a number. It seemed that the country itself, weren't a united body as this is how they could treat each other. Sassoon blames officers for the death of their own soldiers and portrays them in a very evil way. Even in 'The General', Sassoon attacks the incompetence and inhumanity of senior officers. Sassoon also through his poems shows the great empathy towards his fellow soldiers by recreating the scary moments of war again to give us an idea of how the fear loomed over most soldiers. ...read more.

Conclusion

The idea was that alcohol was consumed to really hide away or shadow reality for a while for the soldiers. Stanhope being the 21-year-old CO, confided in alcohol throughout the play to drown away his fears. Hibbert too, who initially tried to get sent home by seeking medical grounds also resorts to the consumption of alcohol purely to build up his confidence and forget his fears. Through each character, different interpretations of the attitudes towards war can be seen. Uncle Osborne being the most comforting character suggests that 'human goodness can survive in even the most desperate circumstances'. He knows deep down that these poor men have been placed in the most horrible situation, which they are most likely to die in. yet he tries to raise the morale to keep the soldiers going and living in hope instead of nerves. The new recruit Christian echo's Barton's character from 'Strange Meeting' as both are new young boys, who are excited and enthusiastic to take part in the war and almost see it as a game. World war one proved that 'A war to end all wars' was meaningless. One can argue that this was quite simply said to make Britain feel a sense of unity and give them a sense of authority that they would be the reason behind 'World Peace'. Unfortunately world war one created further problems. It became a solution to all world problems. Violence was now a 'solving' factor. The consequences of war eternally changed peoples attitudes from the ones they held before the war broke out. People realised that external problems were really the minor ones. It was what was inside that mattered. The fact was that society was becoming corrupt, which was slowly evolving and still is today, such as the increasing of crime. Manipulative methods such as of the usage of children and women motivated men to go to war, this was wrong and it was only till it was too late the nation had realised they had created evil itself. Thus so many anti-war literature forms ca be found today, because what happened is unforgettable. ...read more.

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