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In the following poem, Laurence Binyon looks back on those soldiers who died for their country during battle. Analyse the poem. What is the poem saying about war?

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Introduction

Assignment 14 In the following poem, Laurence Binyon looks back on those soldiers who died for their country during battle. Analyse the poem. What is the poem saying about war? Concentrate upon the following areas for your answer: - Content and theme(s) - Structure and style, and how this is shaped by content - Context - Purpose and success The title of the poem written by Laurence Binyon already suggests what the purpose, context and theme for this poem will be with the title "For the Fallen". Therefore before the reader even begins to read the poem they have an idea that is going to be about those who have passed away during the war. The first stanza personifies England as 'a mother for her children' who is mourning for the 'dead across the sea'. This could be meaning the soldiers that were in the battle of the Somme. The tone in this first stanza is calm and respectful as the poem states its purpose and begins to describe that the men have 'Fallen in the cause of the free'; Suggesting that this is why the men are fighting. By writing in this style the reader can understand that the men in this poem have become hero figures by sacrificing themselves for their country. The second stanza opens with 'Solemn' as its first lexis carrying on the theme of loss and 'desolation' in the poem. ...read more.

Middle

Even though in reality this probably was not the case and they were probably terrified knowing that death was soon to be upon them. The voice of this poem does not talk about the true horrors of the war, this could be deliberate because it is paying tribute to the soldiers or it could be from lack of knowledge. In the final stanzas of this poem the voice of the poem begins to tell the reader how the fallen soldiers will not experience anything anymore. They will not 'grow old' and they shall 'sit no more at familiar tables at home' but 'We will remember them' again that sense of pride is profound. Laurence Binyon could also be writing this poem to show gratitude for the men, as stated in the first stanza it is clear that this poem thinks the war has a purpose and it is just. Its reason being the 'cause of the free', they were fighting for freedom. All the soldiers are glorified because they fought for freedom and the reader is told that they will always be remembered. They are described as the 'stars' of the night and that they will remain, even when the people of their time pass away and become 'dust'. There is use of repetition here to emphasises the fact that they will remain, 'To the end, to the end, they remain' In stanza 5 the word 'They' is repeated at the beginning of each line ...read more.

Conclusion

The poet does not know what circumstances these men where in when they died; But it is telling the reader that the men should have no fear when stating 'They fell with their faces to the foe' the poet expects the men to be courageous and 'staunch'. They might not have been that way and if they weren't I wonder would they still have been given the same respect that they have been given in this poem; after my wider reading I have learnt cowards in the army did not go down well. However my opinion is that the poem pays tribute to the lost men, showing them gratitude. I also believe that this poem is showing remorse. It tells the reader that the men are fighting for freedom but in doing so they have lost their lives and will not 'grow old'. The tone of the poem is sad but not angry or disrespectful with there loss. The voice of the poem has come to terms with the knowledge that these men have died and accepts it because that is what happens in a war. The main message that I have picked up from this poem that I believe Laurence wants those who read it to understand is that the men who have died will be remembered long after those who did not fight. The men will be like 'bright' stars in the sky that are forever there and for all to remember. ...read more.

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