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Consider how the poets of Lamentations and Bohemians tell us about the way in which the army can be a brutal and demoralising

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Introduction

Consider how the poets of Lamentations and Bohemians tell us about the way in which the army can be a brutal and demoralising institution. By Jack Wise We all know that the army is surely very tough psychologically, but surely no one from our generation can understand the pains and sufferings that men would have had to go through fighting in the First World War. The army during this time must have been devastatingly hard to cope with and indeed a demoralising institution. Ivor Gurney, author of Bohemians, and Siegfried Sassoon, author of Lamentations, convey the ideas of demoralisation in these two poems concentrating on two different viewpoints. A 'bohemian' is someone who chooses to not follow the rules and regulations set by superior powers and lives his life according to his own rules. ...read more.

Middle

Coupled with this is the comparative lack of punctuation that continues throughout the poem, except from commas. This enjambment proceeds until the penultimate line, in which the first full stop occurs. This accentuates the last line, which is the most poignant line of the poem, "In Artois or Picardy they lie - free of useless fashions." This line shows that now they have died, they are finally free from having to tolerate the decrees set by the governing officers of the First World War. This is an ironic final line as through death, they are freed from the bonds of army expectations and regulations about behaviour and uniform. This poem is, to a certain extent, about the dehumanising effects of war "and wrenched/What little soul they had still further from shape," and how the bohemians did not allow the war change their view on life or their attitudes towards existence change entirely. ...read more.

Conclusion

The caesuras give the poem a very broken sound and it almost sounds like the sobbing of the man described in the poem. The final line of this poem is the most important and poignant, as in Bohemians, as it explains how the narrator feels of the situation and how he generalises this man's situation telling the reader how often fighting soldiers are broken and become demoralised and become victims of the effects of being in the army. These poems are indeed juxtaposed with one another and when contrasted, we can see how the army has different effects on people even though their circumstances may be the same. No matter the situation though, fighting in army can ultimately take it's toll on all men, as we see in Bohemians, the men are eventually effected by their time in the army when they are only able to find peace through death. ...read more.

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