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Hardy vs. Sitwell

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Write a comparison of the ways the poets present the effects of war on those remaining at home. Say how far you agree that Hardy's poem is a far more moving and effective reflection on this. During the war, the trauma for those at home was almost as terrible as those on the front line: waiting continuously for news of a death and not knowing whether no news was really good news. Hardy and Sitwell's poems both reflect this by the way they portray the experience. Sitwell's poem seems to be insulting those who can just ignore the outside world and still have fun whilst people are dying. The poem, particularly the second stanza, seems to be very heavy on the guilt (although he may be feeling guilty himself, it does seem like a 'guilt trip' to readers as well). Hardy, however, seems a little less personal and less guilty. Sitwell's finishing line 'we dance, we dance, each night' may seem like another part of this guilt trip, as I've previously mentioned, ...read more.


Although it is anticlimactic in a sense, it also highlights the way that people feel the pain the same the world over - we all have to deal with the 'scheduled slaughter' at some point, even in 'Ind'. It's terrible but at least we can all empathise with others in the world - feelings are the same. War causes death for everyone, wherever and whoever they are. The comparison of the dancers to 'the world' by use of the word gyrating is also a powerful image utilised by Sitwell. It speaks of the world continuing to turn even throughout this terrible war, and makes the world seem sympathetic to those who are experiencing their pain. The world does not normally 'gyrate', but rather turn continuously, and again, this makes the people and the earth seem like one being, both shuddering with the pain that this war is causing. Hardy actually uses a similar idea in his poem, in that he asks for his 'land' to 'heave its pulse less gladly' because it seems to contradict the pain that the war is causing. ...read more.


Sitwell's poem also seems to highlight a feeling of numbness that the First World War caused for many people - a type of shellshock for those who stayed at home. The terrible descriptions, the 'dying breath', the madness, the light 'flecked with blood' all contrasted with the bleak and boring last lines which causes us to imagine dancers carelessly or perhaps emotionlessly gyrating across the floor is at once both insensitive and anaesthetized. To conclude, Hardy's poem is a lot less 'up front' way of portraying the war from home. It's a lot less personal and isn't to do with the mass destruction that the First World War caused, just a general expression of the pain that war causes. Dancers, however, is dripping with poignant words that express exactly the amount of bloodshed that the World War I meant for many people, and seems to show that the civilians had a feeling of numbness towards the war, which is perhaps a more moving and effective feeling to express anyway. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ellie Robinson Synoptic Unit Both sections timed 1 ...read more.

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