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How well does Vernon Scannell use the peaceful setting of the English countryside to evoke the horrors of War?

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Introduction

How well does Vernon Scannell use the peaceful setting of the English countryside to evoke the horrors of War? In the poem "Route March Rest", we follow the march of s company of Soldiers through a small countryside village. The writer uses this setting to illustrate to us, how War travels and moves. The writer does this in several ways, using effective technique. When "B company" are first depicted to us, we are told how they "march in staggered columns", through the "lanes". Lanes being a typical feature of the English countryside, "March[ing], through these "lanes", however, normally the words used to describe the way you would pass through this sort of scene, would not be "march"[ing] in this way. Already, so early on in the poem we can see that "B Company", don't really belong there. They are depicted as a "machine", that metaphorically, "clanked and throbbed". ...read more.

Middle

We are aware that this is a typical countryside village, because of the various features that we are aware of in this village, including, the "green...church" and "school". We are to be particularly focused on the school, where as the soldiers, "rest", the children in the school, are having their playtime, in their school "playground". The "calls" of the children from the playground, are described to have, "sprayed", over to where the soldiers are, The children are describes as being "bright as buttercups". This suggests immediate innocence. The fact that the children are described in this way shows us that they are seen almost as something "bright" in a dark time, in world of war. When the "platoon" rest, they watch the children and it is as if, the children and the army rest together, and for a moment, while the soldiers "fall out", they are resting, and are not the "machine" of War. ...read more.

Conclusion

The poem ends with the sound of their voices, being described as "frail sound", which is "already fading, soon to die". By this Scannell could one of two things. He could be referring to the sound becoming more faint as the Soldiers march further away from the school, or he could be intending a deeper meaning. Most probably in that the children who are singing, are already "frail" in this time of War and unrest. The last part of this where it says "soon to die" is the most horrifying thought, that these innocent children may soon die, because of the War these Soldiers are training to fight in. In conclusion, Vernon Scannell, uses the setting of the English countryside to evoke the horrors of War very effectively. He does this by making parallels between the Soldiers and the children of the village, and by depicting the marching Soldiers as a War "machine", marching and confirming the horror of War has arrived in this small "community". Sarah Allen 11S G1 ...read more.

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