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How Are The Changing Attitudes To The First World War Reflected In Its Poetry?

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Introduction

How Are The Changing Attitudes To The First World War Reflected In Its Poetry? 1914, England were introduced to a challenge. It was the First World War. At first, it did not seem like much of a 'World' War as it only involved a few countries from Europe. It was when countries like Japan and America got involved that it was known more as a World War. What was thought to last only four months lasted four years. At first, the war was looked at as a 'game', an adventure but millions were in for a huge shock. A war declared between England and Germany soon involved other countries and millions of young soldiers being killed. The First World War was a one themed war. Trench Warfare. During first few months the cowards, the kids and women enjoyed social benefits of the war like Parties, events, parades, songs etc. None of these aspects actually showed any relation to the war. Soon enough though the reality would become known to them. In a way, recruitment poems were not necessary. Everyone was up to the challenge of being able to fight for their own country in the war. Despite this, poems were created. Some people still were a little hesitant on the idea of joining a war due to the lack of information. ...read more.

Middle

Quotation Explanation Who's for the game, the biggest that's played the red crashing game of a fight? From this you already get the feeling of a burning anxiety in you to just get out there and show them all what you are made of. From beginning it already gives you a fighting spirit. Who'll grip and tackle the job unafraid? Again, not only do we have the fighting spirit, we are given a type of challenge to see who can take on this job and tackle with no fear. Seeing as this is towards young men, there were probably a lot who were just ready to show off their talents to the ladies. Who'll give his country a hand? Not only are we going to benefit personally but we will also be helping our country so this gives double the reason to participate. Most soldiers were young. They went into the war with kind of attitude that was saying 'come on, let me have it'. They were very happy about making themselves available for the war. Soon when they actually came face to face with the war, they realised how wrong they were. A handful of soldiers just killed themselves. The people who were not involved in the war were still excited about the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

If only they might experience Owen's own "smothering dreams" which replicate in small measure the victim's sufferings. Those sufferings Owen goes on to describe in sickening detail. The "you" who he refers to lets people in general but also perhaps, one person in particular, the "my friend" identified as Jessie Pope whose controversial poems backed the glorification of war that Owen hated. Imagine, he says, the urgency, the panic that causes a dying man to be "flung" into a wagon, the "writhing" that point out an especially virulent kind of pain. Hell seems close at hand with the curious simile "like a devil's sick of sin". Sick in what sense? Physically? Owen's imagery is enough to sear the heart and mind. Begbie and Pope were two very different poets to Sassoon (fellow soldier to Owen) and Owen. They actually were employed as professional poets to write recruitment poems whereas Owen and Sassoon wrote their true feelings, experiences and fear as not only poems but diaries. You can understand Owen's frustration at Begbie and Pope as they had no knowledge in the war and its harsh and cruel reality. Everyone had a positive attitude to the war but as the true speaking poems came out, the positive attitudes deteriorated with time. Soon everyone had known the brutal fate of the fooled soldiers and the harsh reality of those who died and the war. Tam 10 W Miss Yeoman Sunday 24th June 2001 ...read more.

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