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Compare and contrast the attitude and feelings towards war with reference to 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke and 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' by Wilfred Owen.

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Introduction

Poetry Coursework Name : Leong Kok Chuen Class : 11 SS Question : Compare and contrast the attitude and feelings towards war with reference to 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke and 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' by Wilfred Owen. The sonnets 'The Soldier' and 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' are writings by the famous poets Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen respectively. Both poets depict the same topic of war, but through different views and opinions. Despite them pertaining to the similarly themed subject, their language and tone invoke contrasting feelings in readers and affects their impression of war in opposite ways. In 'The Soldier', Rupert Brooke expresses his strong sense and feelings of patriotism for his country. This is hinted in the title 'The Soldier', which conveys a sense of pride and loyalty to the reader. Although fully aware of the possibility of death, indicated by the line 'If I should die', the poet does not dwell on such gloomy thoughts, instead focusing on his allegiance to his motherland. This element of patriotism is frequently brought to attention with the repeated use of the word 'England' and 'English' throughout the poem. Wilfred Owen's 'Anthem for DoomedYouth' achieves the totally different effect on the reader, as it is completely devoid of any sense of national pride, and instead questions the very purpose of war. ...read more.

Middle

This is shown when he uses all the four elements to describe her; 'A body of England' which refers to earth, 'breathing English air' which refers to air, 'Washed by rivers' which refers to water and 'blest by suns of home' which refers to fire. His sense of pride and honour is so strong that he does not dwell on the gloom and misery that is associated with war at all, instead views it through rose-tinted glasses and does not realise the true horrors. Owen however, is obsessed with the cruelty, indignity and senseless wasting of their lives. The use of the word 'patter' refers to the bullets hitting a soldier's body. It gives the effect of raindrops hitting a window, which when used to describe how a body is inflicted with bullets paints a very cruel and inhumane picture. When he writes 'No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells' he says that the dead are forgotten; they are neither mourned nor prayed for. This is because the dead are so many that it would take too much effort to bother to tend to them. The only things to mark their deaths are the 'choirs', yet there are not ordinary choirs but 'shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The rhyme schemes, although similar, are used to different effects. In Brooke's poem, the consistent rhyme scheme is to show the peacefulness of thought that he has. In Owen's however, the consistency is used to produce an opposite effect. The calmness achieved by the consistency only serves to suggest the mood which is heartless, without emotion, cold, cruel, and that like of a machine. Brooke's poem has a smooth, clear flow in rhythm. This suits the smooth tranquil thoughts that reflect the mood invoked by the poem. In 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', the rhythm is broken and unsteady; it serves to create an impression on the reader of how grave and miserable war is. Although both poets write about the same topic, which is war, they both have different views and attitudes towards it. Perhaps this is because of their different experiences with war. Brooke is like a new soldier, na�ve and yet to experience its horrors, contemplating only on his view on war. Owen writes as if he has just witnessed the worst, as he was involved with the uglier and bloodier part of the war. He also reveals the effects both on and off the battlefield. Both authors have distinctly different impressions of war because of their different experiences, but ultimately, both describe the subject, although from totally opposite sides. ...read more.

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