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By comparing Extracts C, D and E, and by referring to your wider reading, examine how typical in both style and treatment of subject matter these writings are of literature from or about the First World War.

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Introduction

June 2002 Exam Question 1(b) By comparing Extracts C, D and E, and by referring to your wider reading, examine how typical in both style and treatment of subject matter these writings are of literature from or about the First World War. You should consider: -Language, form and structure -The writers' thoughts and feelings about war and contemporary society -The influence of the time of composition -The gender of the writers Extracts C, D and E are very different to one another, each unique in its own way. In this essay I will be comparing these extracts and also referring to wider reading, examining how typical in both style and treatment of subject matter these writings are of literature from or about the First World War. Extract C is a poem written by Rupert Brooke. Its ABABCDCD EFGEFG rhyme scheme divides it up into an octet and a sestet, making it a Petrarchan sonnet. The poem is mainly based is based around the fact that if the soldier (in the poem) dies in a 'foreign land', where he is buried will be 'for ever England'. By absorbing the body of this English soldier, it will absorb English ways, and will always be under an 'English Heaven'. In this poem, Brooke doesn't seem to be criticizing the war, and instead on the contrary there is a sense of gentleness in the poem. ...read more.

Middle

'The Soldier' was written during the earlier part of the War when young men were eager to join the army to serve their country. They were unaware of the reality and dangers of war and like the solider in the poem, they thought it was a good thing to die for your country, which is similar to a view expressed in 'Ghost Road'. According to Prior, "Everybody lied", in order to join the army. Extract C conveys the fact that the soldier's death was a worthy death because he died for his country, which is a view opposed in 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'. Wilfred Owen speaks out against the wartime propaganda and says you shouldn't believe "The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori". 'The Soldier' is full of propaganda and is very patriotic, it glorifies death as being heroic and considers it a duty to die for your country. The irony here is that the author of the poem, Rupert Brookes, himself died of blood poisoning and never fought on the front line for his country. In the poem, England is personified as a mother figure, where it assumes a nurturing mothering role, doing all the things a mother would do, "dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware..." It suggests that England will grieve for the soldier as a mother would grieve for a son, although there is no sense of grief or loss at death or possible death of the soldier. ...read more.

Conclusion

Poems like 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' by Owen and 'When you see millions of mouthless' by Charles Sorley, were written by men who had first hand experience of the war, and who died in battle and wrote very emotively, expressing their feelings towards the futility of war. On the other hand other female writers like Jessie Pope was considered as an unreliable source when compared to writers who had experienced the futility of war and this inability of the home front to grasp in poems such as 'War Girls'. "till the khaki soldiers come marching", she assumes that they will return home, whereas Brittain in her extract knows the reality of war, and knows that this is not always the case. Like Brookes' 'The Soldier', Pope's poetry represents a patriotism, which isn't seen expressed to such an extreme when compared to other female poets of the war. In conclusion, all the extracts treat the subject of war differently, which depended on several factors, including the gender of the writer and whether or not they actually had first hand experience of war, or whether they based their writing on something they had read, e.g. Hardy, 'Drummer Hodge'. All the writers base their writing on personal experiences or something they have read or heard, and all in some way represent and convey a view about the First World War, and whether or not they are typical is entirely up to the individual. Payal Patel English Lit: F Code ...read more.

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