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Contrast and compare two war poems. Comment on the language, style and structure.

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Introduction

Coursework - Contrast and compare two war poems. Comment on the language, style and structure. In war, it is hard to imagine how people write something that is so poetic and beautiful, in its imagery, which comes from the horrific war that was going on all around them. The First World War produced some of the most gifted and talented authors and artists of the last century and most of them portrayed the harsh brutalities of this 'great' war. The type of poetry in the First World War is varied. We can see the biggest contrast in poetry within the start and the end of the war. At the start of the war, it was portrayed as a great thing and you would be looked down on if you did not join, but by the end, people had experienced the true living nightmare of the war and were writing the harsh realities down for everyone one to experience. Many people who had belief in the war lost their faith and many people were affected by the war even after it had finished. Over 19 million people died in the First World War and this shows us there was a huge waste of life and many of the poems show this enormous tragic event. In this essay I will be comparing Robert Service's 'On the wire' and Harold Begbie's 'Fall In'. 'Fall In' shows the negative pressures of those who did not enlist. The poem was pro war and it tries to persuade men to join the army to fight in the war because otherwise they will be looked down upon by of society, including their own children. ...read more.

Middle

In both poems there is a lot of repetition. Such as in 'On the wire' the same line is repeated in last line of each stanza which is 'here on the wire...the wire...' and in 'Fall In' a question is repeated at the start of each stanza with the word 'sonny' in, and for the each stanza, except the fourth, a question is raised in the last two lines of the stanza. The purpose of all this repetition is to make sure that the reader knows what the poem is about and the speaker gets their point of view on the war, across to the reader. The repetition makes the main points of the poem stick out and makes the reader remember them more easily. With 'On the Wire' the reader is left with the same image of the man stuck on the wire at the end of each stanza. This makes sure that the reader does not forget what the poem is about and how horrible the war can be. While in 'Fall In' the reader is asked a rhetorical question at the start and end of each stanza, this again is to make sure that the reader doesn't forget and to keep them thinking after they have read the poem if they want to be seen as a hero by fighting in the war or a villain for not fighting. It makes the reader want to sign up by repeating all the questions and by keeping with a familiar tone throughout the poem. By keeping a familiar tone it brings out the repetition in the questions and makes them easier to remember. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also by making the reader have a more vivid image in their mind it makes them understand the poem more and what it is about. In 'Fall In' personification is used in the same way as 'On the wire'. The author mentions a 'strangled cheer'; this creates an image in the mind of the reader making the poem come alive. By making the poem seem more alive, the author can get the message across to the reader easier, making them fight in the war. In conclusion 'On the wire' is a very graphic poem. It uses metaphors and alliteration to build a very detailed and eloquent image in the mind of the reader, so they can understand what the soldier stuck on the wire is feeling, bringing the reader more into the poem and making the reader more understanding of the meaning that the poem has. By creating such a graphic image of a dying man, it persuades the reader that the war is a bad thing as people experience the true horrors of war that no man should feel. On the other hand 'Fall In' uses its repetitive rhyming scheme to catch and draw the reader into the poem making it very clear and memorable so the message could be delivered much easier. Also 'Fall In' uses colloquial language and men would have been familiar with it, making them more involved in the poem and persuaded to fight in the war. Both of these poems use the language and poetry techniques in them to get the message that they are trying to get to the across to the reader. They are both very persuasive and get their message about the war across very clearly. ...read more.

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