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A Comparison of how the poets in 'Joining the Colours' and 'the Send Off' present the soldiers going into war

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Introduction

A Comparison of how the poets in 'Joining the Colours' and 'the Send Off' present the soldiers going into war Both poems are similar in that they represent soldiers going to fight for their country. Their actions and emotions towards this show where the poems differ. "The Send-Off" is about soldiers almost being forced to fight, they are lining up to get onto the train with "grimly gay" expressions, and Owen describes their faces, using an oxymoron. "Grim" being the reality- their fearful emotions and "gay" being a 'fa�ade' to the on-lookers. "Joining the Colours" has different imagery here - "There they go marching all in step so gay!" The soldiers seem excited, clearly unaware and na�ve to the outcome. ...read more.

Middle

'Joining the Colours' describes the noise and excitement - presenting an element of energy and emotion which 'The Send-Off' doesn't have. This is due to the reality of 'The Send-Off,' in 'Joining the Colours' people didn't know the reality but Owen did and used the imagery of a 'silent, emotionless' station where the excitement does not exist. When Owen says "so secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went,' it presents the fact that the soldiers are doing something wrong and the irony from the description of "wrongs" when there is nothing the soldiers can do. 'Joining the Colours' almost seems like a "wedding day" where "tin whistles and mouth organs" were blown, out of joy and optimism. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 'The Send Off,' in line 18, it says, "a few, a few, too few for drums and yells," there is repetition used to emphasize the decreasing number of soldiers, and there being no point for "drums and yells" as there will not be many soldiers left. This line is very pessimistic and compared to "Joining the Colours," which is very optimistic, it presents the truth and not the false imagery. Although both poems are different, they still have the message that the soldiers are going to their deaths. In 'Joining the Colours,' the message is subtle, "into the dark" and "into the mist." Hinkson illustrates the "mist" and "dark" being the 'unknown,' whereas in 'The Send-Off' the death was known and obvious, with the pessimism and the rhetorical question. ...read more.

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