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From the pre-1914 selection, choose two poems that show different attitudes towards war and soldiers - Give an account of each poem showing the contrasting ideas of the poets - Show how language is used to effect.

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Introduction

Poetry Assignment From the pre-1914 selection, choose two poems that show different attitudes towards war and soldiers. Give an account of each poem showing the contrasting ideas of the poets. Show how language is used to effect. I have chosen to base my assignment on two poems, called 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' and 'The Hyaenas.' I have chosen to study these two poems because they have completely different opinions on war and soldiers. One focuses on the negative side of war and the other on the positive side. I think that this will make it more interesting to study and also fits in perfectly with what has been assigned for me to do. The Charge of the Light Brigade The Crimean War took place in 1854 when Nicholas I was the emperor of Russia. The War came about because Nicholas claimed that he had the right to protect all the Christians in the lands ruled by Turkey. The Sultan of Turkey was encouraged by the British Ambassador to refuse any interference with his empire, resulting in a War. The War was not very well managed at all. The armies, who were sent to attack Russia, went without enough food supplies or clothing to protect them from the winter cold. There were also no proper arrangements made to care for the sick and wounded. The situation continued to decline and the Allies' transport system broke down. Urgently needed stores were left rotting on the shore. When Florence Nightingale arrived at the hospital at Scutari she found no bandages, no laundry system, no sanitary arrangements and not even a scrubbing brush or a cake of soap. The Allied Generals decided to attack the part of Russia called the Crimea, which is a peninsula sticking out into the Black Sea. In September 1854, 57,000 troops landed there and began to advance towards the port of Sebastopool. ...read more.

Middle

Once they had died, the commanders and government were no longer interested in them and did not care what happened to them. The Hyaenas Rudyard Kipling wrote this poem about War in general, and did not focus on any particular war or battle. The poem describes the way that dead soldiers' bodies, despite being buried by the burial parties, are unearthed and devoured by hyenas. At first, the poet appears to be critical of the hyenas, but in the last stanza he acknowledges the fact that they are merely following their instincts. Since they do not have souls they cannot be expected to be able to differentiate between what is right and wrong, unlike men who do know this difference. Those who really disrespect the dead are those who speak badly of them, perhaps questioning how well they fought and their bravery. Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30, 1865 in India and made a significant contribution to English Literature in various genres including poetry, short story and novel. He spent his early childhood in India where a babysitter took care of him and where, under her influence, he came in direct contact with the Indian culture and traditions. His parents decided to send him to England to get an education and so at the young age of five he started living in England with the landlady of the lodge where he lived. He spent the next six years of his life in misery due to the mistreatment through beatings and general victimization he faced there. Due to this sudden change in environment and the evil treatment he received, he suffered from insomnia for the rest of his life. This had a huge impact on his literary imagination. He was then placed in a private school at the age of twelve. The English schoolboy code of honour and duty deeply affected his views in later life, especially when it involved loyalty to a group or team. ...read more.

Conclusion

This poem is very effective in conveying Kipling's disapproval of war. Kipling holds quite a different opinion on war to that of Tennyson's. The poem is especially effective, because of the way that he describes even the animals as being confused by the behaviour of mankind. He tells that animals do not even fight for no reason, and we our race is behaving worse than any animal. At the end of the poem, we are told just how bad humans are in comparison to animals. The hyenas do not disgrace the soldiers, but humans do and with no conscience whatsoever. "Nor do they defile the dead man's name." Kipling is completely opposite to Tennyson and thinks that war is a waste of human life. He cannot understand the need for this suffering, when even animals do not fight for a liable reason. From studying the two poems closely, it becomes quite obvious that both poets have a completely different view of war and wrote their poems for two totally different things. Tennyson wrote his poem, 'The Charge of the Light Brigade,' to try and rally public support for war and make every think that war is a good thing. Kipling took quite a different approach, and wrote his poem of 'The Hyaenas' to try and make people disapprove of war and discourage them of wanting anymore wars. The main differences in the poems, is the choice of language. Tennyson uses lots of positive words such as, "Boldly", "Flashed", "Fought so well", "Glory", "Honour", "Noble" Kipling does not use any positive words at all and his choice of language is much more negative, "pitiful", "corpse", "dead", "safer meat", "poor", "defile" The other main difference is that Tennyson focuses on the battle itself while there is a lot of action, and Kipling focuses his poem on what happens after the battle and everyone has left the battle-field. The Government will not have been very impressed with Kipling for writing a poem that contrasts so strongly with Tennyson's poem that would have gathered them a lot of support for war. ...read more.

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