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Compare and contrast the writers' attitudes to war in three poems of your choice.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the writers' attitudes to war in three poems of your choice. The First World War was the most destructive ever known. Nearly a million British men were killed and it affected every town and village. The 18-40 male age group was dramatically diminished, which meant nearly a whole generation was wiped out. During the war people got increasing information about the war conditions and the patriotic excitement disappeared. This affected the number of men enlisting. People's attitudes to war depended on their experiences. Men who were fighting would have a different approach, because they experienced the poor conditions, horrific injuries and bitter weather. Many women would have had a more positive view on the war; because of the advantage they were in terms of employment. No one wanted any war like World War One to happen again. It caused vast devastation and misery and caused more slaughter than any other war. War dehumanised men that managed to survive the war, their lives were no longer normal. Wilfred Owen, Jessie Pope and Siegfried Sassoon all wrote emotional poetry considering the war, but they saw different aspects of it. Wilfred Owen enlisted in the army during the war and therefore saw disturbing and horrifying scenes in his time away in the trenches, unlike Pope who was not involved in trench warfare, but saw life during the war as a beneficial time for women of Britain. ...read more.

Middle

This line shows that the cold did more damage in the war than the actual fighting itself. Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon use imagery to create an attitude of hate to war, and uses words such as 'merciless', 'glozed' and 'sullen.' On the other hand Jessie Pope's attitude to war was more optimistic. She uses words such as, 'soft and warm,' 'marching' and 'show their grit.' These words describe women as determined and give the reader the impression that the soldiers will come marching back, proud and victorious. She does not see the reality of war and that many men were buried under piles of other innocent bodies. The language used in all the poems gives vivid descriptions to the reader. 'War Girls' includes many strong and loud sounds, such as, 'clips,' 'cries,' and 'whistles.' These words are used to help describe girls during the war. The sounds are positive, this reflects Pope's attitude to war. An unusual colour used in the last line of each stanza is, 'khaki' which describes the distinct colour of the soldier's uniform. Pope does not describe them as torn or blood-stained. The language is intended to make you feel that war was productive. 'Till the khaki soldier boys come marching back,' is repeated at the end of each verse. ...read more.

Conclusion

It forces the reader not to have any momentum, and shows the reality of war as boredom, misery, and the rhythm reflects this. This point of view is the soldiers at the lowest spell of their existence. Overall, the three poets have differing attitudes to war because of their own experiences in child hood and later in life. Wilfred Owen had a contrasting view to Jessie Pope because he had witnessed the dreadfulness of death and fighting. Siegfried Sassoon also had on-hand experience to war, as he suffered shell-shock and lost one of his brothers. Gender also comes into the equation; Jessie Pope was not allowed to fight, because she was a woman and therefore did not have the chance to experience trench life. She could only do the best a woman was able to do at the time. Unlike Owen and Sassoon, who had as much trench life as they could handle, and they only saw the down side to war. They did not experience the benefits. This means all three poets views depended on what they saw and did, they did not experience all areas of the war and no one could. On the whole Sassoon and Owen have differing attitudes to Pope, but their experience of life and their gender are the motives for this. ?? ?? ?? ?? Stephanie Larter 1 ...read more.

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