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By comparing the extracts from testament of youth, the ghost road and Binyon's for the fallen and referring to your wider reading examine how typical in both style and treatment of subject matter these writings are of literature from or about world war on

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Introduction

By comparing the extracts from testament of youth, the ghost road and Binyon's for the fallen and referring to your wider reading examine how typical in both style and treatment of subject matter these writings are of literature from or about world war one. Timing has a significant effect when war literature is written as does whether the source was a first hand account or a work written from others sources. Laurence Binyon wrote 'For the Fallen' in 1914 when war had just broke out and at this time people were joyous and glad of the excitement of war, Binyon reflects this view as he personifies England as a 'mother for her children' describing England as a caring character unwillingly sending her children to their deaths for 'the cause of the free'. This patriotism and duty seen by 'death august and royal' were wide spread, and although there were deaths the full extent of the trench warfare horrors had been censored, so was only experienced by those at the front. Binyon himself only visited the front at one point so perhaps did not experience horrors as did other writers such as owen, yet he had more first hand Pat barker's writing 'Ghost Road' in 1999. ...read more.

Middle

Unlike Pat Barkers description of a 'severed head' which could be considered disrespectful toward the dead. Binyon uses euphemisms telling of the young men who now 'sleep beyond England's foam' this attitude towards death is mirrored by Vera Britain as she chooses to believe her fianc´┐Ż 'drifted unconsciously into death' so as to relieve herself of the pain and loss of her loved one. Vera invites the reader to have empathy towards her as they know her anticipation is an anticlimax and Roland in the end 'had died of wounds at a casualty clearing station.' The romantic sense in which she describes him and their 'love that had arisen so swiftly' is discredited by the matter of fact way she declares his death adding pathos to the extract. This statement is given as if in shock or simply immune to the pain similar to the immunity soldiers gained towards death at the front, they got to the point where as Hulme described, 'men walked as on Piccadilly over a dead Belgian's belly.' This immunity does not stretch to every situation however, Barker talks of 'a friends death precipitating a total collapse' and 'nausea, vomiting, spell of forgetfulness' as if the war not only affect the men physically but also mentally, their whole being with nothing left untouched. ...read more.

Conclusion

Other immortalising imagery such as 'stars' give a comfort to the reader which they do not achieve from Ghost Road or Vera Britain as the matter of fact death is left without a sense of the soul being at rest as they do as they 'march upon the heavenly plain' in For the Fallen. This shows the views of the authors as Binyon is very pro-war and patriotism for the country whilst Britain and Barker show the extremity of the loss and give an anti-war vision to their work as does Wilfred Owen as he opens with a harsh question of 'what passing bells for those who die as cattle.' This question probes the reader into asking themselves why the war occurred, and with Owens imagery of 'stuttering rifles' and 'sad shires' it is tough for a reader to think pro-war. Sibilance is frequent in For the Fallen as 'stars that are starry' allows for the poem with its harsh theme of death to be softened having a soothing effect upon the reader. To add to this calming flowing effect fricative sounds are added such as 'flesh of flesh.' This enables a harmonious sound for the dead who died for a cause which is often why the poem is read at remembrance services to put those who have lost loved ones at peace. ...read more.

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