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Explore the main ideas presented in Rouenby May Wedderburn Cannan. How effective is it in exploring ideas about the First World War? Consider the structure, imagery and language.

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Introduction

Explore the main ideas presented in "Rouen". How effective is it in exploring ideas about the First World War? Consider the structure, imagery and language. There are various key ideas that have been presented in "Rouen" by May Wedderburn Cannan. She has made a great use of different literary devices to describe her realities of war on the frontline whilst she worked as a VAD nursing injured soldiers. Regarding its wider use in exploring ideas about the First World War; it is a primary source and is about her experiences and the feelings that she had undertaken. Therefore we have first-hand evidence to use to compare and contrast against other poetry of the time. ...read more.

Middle

She also makes reference to the "King", "bugles" and our "island" although not to remember and be proud of them although to "forget the evenings...whilst the world slips slow to darkness". Finally, she ends on the note that her "heart goes out to Rouen" and "the trains that go from there". The language that Cannan uses within the poem is very emotive and she makes connotations with different things to help us feel what she is going through. For example "the voices of the Indians" - from this quote we can see a deeper understanding into her ideas about World War One. She also constantly repeats "and" for effect and to act as a list that the idea of there being neverending problems with the sufferings of the men. ...read more.

Conclusion

In "Rouen", the persona seems to feels a sense of questioning and disillusionment for the purposes of the war. "And the agony and splendour when they stood to save the King?". This shows the feelings that they had towards the War and the leaders who were making this siege in Rouen with such bloodshed. To conclude, I believe that "Rouen" is a good and effective source to use in order to explore the events of the First World War for women VADs such as Wedderburn Cannan on the warfront such as in the city of Rouen. The language and structure link well with her having a rather mechanical style of writing and that idea that she has become emotionally drained and overwhelmed; and that as an educated lady - she has no other way to recapitulate these feelings. ...read more.

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