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Compare and contrast the presentation of war and the poets' attitudes towards war in "Who's for the game?" by Jessie Pope and "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen.

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War Poetry Compare and contrast the presentation of war and the poets' attitudes towards war in "Who's for the game?" by Jessie Pope and "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen. (900-1500 Words). During and before the First World War, between the year 1914 and 1918, there were many recruitment banners, recruitment poems, and many other ways to encourage young men to go to war. When the war began in August 1914, Britain relied only on a small professional force, unlike most other European and Global countries that had very large conscript armies. During this time, young men had huge official and unofficial social pressures on their shoulders until conscription was enforced in Britain midway through the First World War in the year 1916. Streets became full of war recruitment posters and banners, and nearly all newspapers gave space for many war recruitment poems. One poem by Harold Begbie called Fall In, which first appeared in the Daily Chronicle on 31 August 1914, just a short while after the start of the war, became hugely popular. It was then published in many other newspapers, like other poems, and encouraged many young men to conscript. It became so popular that it was even set to music and sung in music halls. ...read more.


The third stanza is the shortest, and then comes the second, then the first and the fourth stanza is the longest. Owen does this to present war as chaotic and very disorganized. There is also another reason for this, which I will explain in due course. In the first stanza, Owen gives us the impression that the soldiers have a low morale, this makes the reader share their feelings too. The soldiers' physical appearance is dirty, unkempt, and dishevelled "like old beggars". Being beggars, this could also suggest that they are malnourished and have no decent food. The soldiers' postures are submissive, "bent double" as they have been walking for extensive periods of time. The soldiers' are seen as dispensable, unimportant, and insignificant "like old beggars...like hags". There is obvious illness and disability, "knock-kneed, coughing". These are onomatopoeic words; this makes the suffering clearer to the reader. The morale of all the soldiers is low, "cursed through sludge". Already in the first three lines, the horrors of war are emerging and so are the soldiers' feelings as a whole, unlike Pope's poem. The soldiers show resignation, despair, and are already giving up, "haunting flares we turned our backs". The inevitability of death is also presented early on in the poem, "distant rest". ...read more.


The alliteration on the letter 's', known as sibilance, sounds like a snake. The snake is associated with evil and so is the war. Owen then shows his anger at Pope and trying to tell the reader how bad it all is, "If you could hear". There is a slow motion, movie-like image created in the next two lines, where Owen describes the man's horrific injuries. The words used are, again, strong and contain harsh consonants, "Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud". The alliteration on 'c' represents Owen's fury and outrage. The body is rotting, they are terminal illnesses and they are incurable; there is no way in reversing the process of a gas attack, death is to be expected. Towards the end, Owen directs his poem to Pope, trying to make her change her artificial views on war. He says, "My friend"; this sounds very sarcastic, colloquial and friendly but it isn't because of what Owen is talking about. He tells her that she shouldn't tell people, "with such high zest" that war is glorious like Pope does, there is no glory in war, "children ardent for some desperate glory". Owen tells the reader and Pope that it is not sweet and proper to die for your country; it is bad to do so. He is unpatriotic and tries to reverse propaganda, "The old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori." Khalid Attia English Coursework 1 ...read more.

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