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Compare the way Jessie Pope (War Girls) and E.A. Mackintosh (Recruiting) write about civilian attitudes to the Great War?

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Introduction

Compare the way Jessie Pope (War Girls) and E.A. Mackintosh (Recruiting) write about civilian attitudes to the Great War? Both Pope and Mackintosh have used wartime propaganda in their poems to get across civilian attitudes about the war. Pope uses phrases very similar to the catchy propaganda that encouraged people to participate in the war effort, for example 'they're going to keep their end up'. Lines like these are positive and upbeat and give the poem an assured feeling that civilian attitudes were to pull together and try to get on with the war situation. In contrast Mackintosh uses an actual propaganda phrase, "Lads you're wanted" to get his message across. He makes it clear in the first verse that this phrase is propaganda by saying that it is on a poster. Then, throughout the rest of the poem he twists this phrase to make it ironic and give a negative attitude, for example when he says "Lads you're wanted! ...read more.

Middle

In comparison Jessie Pope uses continuous action throughout 'War Girls' with phrases such as "There's the motor girl who drives a heavy van". The fact that the poem consists mainly of similar actions rather than different feelings gives the reader a sense of everyone having the same sort of attitude, to keep busy, there is no variety or conflict. Pope paints a picture of general wartime life, whilst Mackintosh takes a more personal approach, making 'Recruiting' seem more genuine. Both poems have a sense of childlike innocence. In 'War Girls' this is shown with the use of "boys" and "girls" throughout the poem. The fact that Pope says the "khaki soldiers boys" will "come marching back" shows the civilian attitude that war does not change people, and makes it seem like a game, there is no mention of the soldiers suffering and dying. Mackintosh shows a very different attitude with the use of the word "lads" throughout his poem. He continually refers to would-be soldiers as "lads", implying that they are inexperienced, not properly grown up. ...read more.

Conclusion

In contrast Mackintosh speaks of the "gallant sacrifice", making it clear that he means death. Mackintosh's perception of sacrifice is far deeper and more serious than Pope's; he has more comprehension of what the sacrifices of war really are. In conclusion, Pope and Mackintosh show very different civilian attitudes. Pope is giving a simplistic attitude of those who have not experienced war first hand. She creates a feeling of active wartime life to show attitudes, rather than looking at emotions. As a result 'War Girls' comes across as a piece of shallow propaganda rather than a meaningful insight into civilian attitudes. Mackintosh is equally biased but in a different direction. He dismisses all forms of propaganda, encouraging the reader to side with him by ridiculing propagandists, and using irony. He gives the attitude that the soldiers are the only people who are reliable and without fault. Both poets use rhyme and repetition to make their poems and points memorable. Comparing the poems gives a valuable insight into just how different perceptions of war at home and at the front were. Lula Teunissen, 11H 07/05/07 ...read more.

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