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GCSE War Poetry Essay Is it Sweet and Fitting to die for your country? War begins with everybody caught up

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Introduction

GCSE War Poetry Essay Is it Sweet and Fitting to die for your country? War begins with everybody caught up in the atmosphere and ready to fight, which was the case during 1914. Young men would raise their heads high and fell privileged to be able to fight for their country. This patriotic fervour would spread round deceiving young innocent minds about the harsh nature of war. Men like Rupert Brooke, 'The Soldier' added to all the 'hype' until war progressed; all that is left is death. John Scott and Wilfred Owen both share a hatred of war as revealed in the 'Drum' and 'Dulce et Decorum est'. Respectively the two poems may both be anti-war but the manner in which in which they attack war is different. The former, being a Quaker, hated all means of war but had no experience of war as a soldier; hence how he was unable to focus on the battles on the battlefield unlike Owen. On what he can focus on is what he sees, the build up to war and the aftermath. The latter, on the other hand, hates war solely as a result of his experiences at the front line. Using this information he is able to extract the most horrific sights and use them to his advantage, for example, the gas attack. Scott portrays war as being a manipulative machine luring these men to their deaths while Owen uses the sheer horrors of war to put out his strong feelings of disgust. 'The Drum' is about the government's scheme to lure more and more men into signing up for the war. During this period of time propaganda is a heavily used tactic that the government employs to force the men in. This propaganda would be displayed on the television and the radio and its main objective is to give the men no option to escape. ...read more.

Middle

'Haunting flares', highlights they can not escape both on the battle field and in their mind. This links with the same idea used by Scott of war being a trap and how they can not flee. 'Men marched asleep', the metaphor 'men marched asleep' portrays how senseless these men are and how little control they have over their actions. The effect of this is it emphasizes how the men have no choice and they can not control what they do which goes against war as it shows what war can do to people by taking their soul away. 'Limped', again points out the condition of the men links back to stanza one. The impact of mentioning the condition of the men is to make sure the image of the men is remembered throughout the poem. 'All blind', relates back to point about them being senseless and having no control of their actions. 'Drunk with fatigue', the metaphor 'drunk with fatigue' gives the reader a comparison to the soldiers to make clear the condition the men are in. The poem so far has been loaded with point after point which goes against war, the effect it has makes out the soldiers to have problem after problem making war seem the worst scenarios all attack the men at once. 'Ecstasy of fumbling', demonstrates how unprepared they are and how they panic making them seem as simple prey for the gas to devour. 'Clumsy helmets', in addition to the previous point of the soldiers being unprepared, to make matters worse the equipment that they are supplied with is faulty. At this point the attention spreads over to the government and puts them in the blame as shame falls on them. Not only are they using these soldiers to fight a battle which is not theirs to fight but left them there with nothing to protect them with, waiting as sitting targets. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rhymes such as such as 'Sacks' and 'Backs', are heavy words which possibly highlight the burden carried by the soldiers. 'Sludge' and 'Trudge' emphasize how slowly they are moving. The slowness of the first two sections are contrasted at the start of section three where the tempo increases with short sharp words, 'Gas! Gas!'. The effect of this change in tempo makes the poem more interesting bringing it back to life after the early stages clearly stating that these men were as good as a dead. The effect that I got from 'The drum' was that it was a manipulative machine that drew innocent soldiers to their death. The appeal to put war off to me was not as strong as the one that I got from 'Dulce et Decorum est' which filled me with disgust and put me off war. 'The Drum' was a straight forward comparison to contrast with war which meant that all the effect had come from the changes in contrast. On the other hand Wilfred Owen has taken a shocking scene that he may have picked up during his war career and then creates a picture which brings disgust to all its readers. John Scott was able to create a lot of effect form sound to make his piece seem the most effective such as long sounds 'Groans' and 'Moans' to create the dying effect. Whereas Owen pictures the most detailed scenes and compares the dying and suffering of the man to something any body would fear which is the 'Cancer'. Scott's poem flows through linking one point to the next but 'Owens' is just fact after fact building up the horrendous picture but then links back to keep the thought fresh. On the whole I felt that Wilfred Owens's poem was more appealing to me as it had more action and brought disgust which had a great effect on me. ?? ?? ?? ?? Arun Vivek 10MSD - 1 - ...read more.

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