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War Poem Comparison - Fall In, Suicide In the Trenches and Who's for the Game? This essay will look at three poems from the period before and during the First World War, each giving different impressions it. Fall In by Harold Begbie, a journalist, author, poet and playwright, was written in September 1914 and it is pro-war propaganda written to persuade young men to enlist. Who's for the Game? by Jessie Pope, a journalist and a poet, was written in1916 and is also pro-war propaganda. It displays the war as something that is enjoyable and harmless in order to encourage enlisters. Suicide in the Trenches, by Siegfried Sassoon, a soldier and poet, was written in 1918 and shows a contrasting picture, the grim and horrid truth about the war. Fall In portrays the war as something that, while not "fun" or pleasant was still necessary. This is clearly seen in the quote "Right is smashed by Wrong", as this shows that the war is about high morals and being correct. Who's for the Game as it's name implies, gives the impression that the war was a game for young men who were bored. It has references to sports all the way through it, for example "Who'll toe the line for the signal to 'Go!?'" Suicide in the Trenches contrasts both of these very strongly by depicting the war as neither necessary or fun, merely awful. ...read more.


It uses vernacular that is humiliating in the third stanza, with "slink away" and "shamed and bent". The fourth and final stanza uses language that makes the war seem more important, using the ideals of "Right and Wrong" to show importance. In Who's for the Game?, Pope uses a sporting vernacular to give the impression of a rough and tumble sport, but still just harmless fun. Examples of this include "grip and tackle" and "toe the line for the signal to Go!" The third stanza could be relating to a rugby match, where you may come back with a crutch or a broken arm, but no more than that. The fourth stanza uses the word "lads" as if to imply everyone is in this together and the last two lines are appealing to the masculine need to protect the womenfolk and a sense of patriotism by calling the country a damsel in distress. Sassoon uses very simple vocabulary in Suicide in the Trenches, which makes the message easily understood by all. Use of the phrase "empty joy" when referring to how the "simple soldier boy" sees life shows the pointlessness of what they are doing. The use of the adjectives "cold" and "glum" paints a depressing image of the trenches whilst Sassoon is very blunt with the line "He put a bullet through his brain". ...read more.


Pope also uses the imagery of childhood with the word "fun", a period everyone enjoys. Suicide in the Trenches uses dark images to convince people of evil and wrong. "Silence" leaves an ominous feel while "crumps and lice" make people feel uncomfortable and unsure. Use of the word "hell" when referring to the war zone brings up images of pain and suffering. Hell is one of the most strong images in the English language, an eternity of pain, stretching on for infinity. All these combine to give a dark and menacing mood to the poem. In conclusion, all of the poets put across a different point of view on the war, something that is fun, something that is necessary and something that is wrong. All of these ideas are backed with strong images and concepts. They all get their point across very well, but Pope's poem, Who's for the Game? seems to be missing something as if it is almost too good at making you feel like the war is going to be fun. Maybe that is only due to hindsight but it seems somehow wrong. The other two poems, Fall In and Suicide in the Trenches give other points of view that both seem very strong and have a finished feel to them. These poems show a great deal about the war and opinions prevalent at the time and are good examples of varying thoughts throughout the war. ...read more.

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