• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Referring to at Least Three Poems, Describe How the World War 1 Poets Challenged the Way Society Regarded War.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Referring to at Least Three Poems, Describe How the World War 1 Poets Challenged the Way Society Regarded War. War and the idea of war had, throughout history, been associated with honour and heroism. Before World War 1, war poetry had reflected the opinion that all soldiers were to be honoured as heroes, regardless of the role that they played during the war. Soldiers were treated as celebrities are today. They were idolised. War continued to be glorified until World War 1 was set into motion. At the beginning of the war, these older style poems which depicted soldiers as heroes were released as propaganda to recruit as many soldiers as possible. But as the war dragged on and more eyewitnesses began to write home and tell of their horrific experiences in the trenches, the true picture of war became clear. Those first poems were as true as black is white. The real story was being brought back first-hand from the trenches in the form of poetry. One such poem that changed the public's view on war was Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen, which seems to be an elegy. It forces the reader to reflect on its 14 lines, which etch themselves upon the readers memory. A few sparsely scattered archaic terms, "And bugles calling for them from sad shires," force the reader to think back to the wars of old, where heroism was rife, and compare them to the horrors of this modern war, where all who enter into its squalid depths are doomed. The poem is very emotive, and these archaic terms also help to draw out the sad, mournful tones from within the poem. ...read more.

Middle

Every other line is a rhyming couplet, which gives the poem a very upbeat and appealing rhythm. The tone seems urgent, trying to encourage soldiers to join the war effort as soon as possible. Who's for the Game? Is similar to other war poems of that era in the fact that it does contain an element of the truth, "who would much rather come back with a crutch", but this truth does not display the true picture of war to any extent. Other poems of the time depicted World War 1 much more enigmatically, using many more adjectives to effectively show an accurate picture of war. Jesse Pope uses a lot of patriotism in Who's for the Game? "Who'll give his country a hand?" which makes me think that the poem was used as propaganda to attract new soldiers to the Army. "Game" is used as a metaphor for war. Jesse Pope depicts the whole concept of war as an exciting game, with lots of fighting, and the opportunity to 'show-off' medals and winnings at the end of it all. The poem appeals to a man's macho pride. The last line of every stanza is a rhetorical question, which, if answered positively, shows a want not to go to war and fight. "And who wants a seat in the stand?" The satirical wording forces the reader to feel as though they are a coward if they decline to go to war. Male pride is a very sensitive area, and Jesse Pope has succeeded in exploiting it powerfully in this poem. The poem is written using very colloquial language, such as "lads" which is a very informal term, and reflects the informality of the entire poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mackintosh's. It was written third hand, and he based all of his facts on a newspaper article, which would have been biased in favour of the soldiers being portrayed as heroes, whereas the stark poems of World War 1 were written from the first-hand experiences of the poets. There were many similarities between The Charge of the Light Brigade and the eyewitness poems of the First World War. The situations were very similar. High-ranking officers blundered and sent young soldiers to their deaths, yet in Tennyson's poem they survived to be known as heroes. During World War 1 most of them were subjected to a very gruesome death as a direct result of these blunders. All poems told the truth of the actual warfare, yet only the firsthand poems of World War 1 told the truth about the soldiers, their situations, and the horrific ways in which they were treated and killed. Therefore, to summarise, I think that the World War 1 poets challenged the way that society regarded war by alerting them to the truth about how soldiers were treated. They also helped to clarify what actually went on during warfare, and the horrific conditions became public knowledge. Young soldiers-to-be now had a basis for comparison to the heroic poems and propaganda of the past, and had excuses to refuse the call-up. Blunders of the generals, and the way in which they were awarded such a high ranking also came to light, and this prompted a change in the way that such posts were awarded. Society now knew how their men were dying, and the myths that were being told to them of heroes deaths were disproved. This angered some people but the poets told the truth, a truth which society had a right to know. By Lisa Nightingale ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. The Poems of World War One Can Be Broadly Divided into Three Waves of ...

    Rupert Brooke wrote another group of recruitment poetry. Brooke wrote some very patriotic sonnets in 1914. Brooke was an idealist; tragically, few men who subscribed to such idealism at the beginning of the war retained this innocence. Their work often became much more bitter. One can only speculate as to how Rupert Brooke's poetry might have changed had he not died so early in the war.

  2. In the wars, Robert Rose is a very significant character.

    I can't keep anyone alive. Not any more. (pg. 28) The pessimistic tone of Mrs. Ross' monologue can be attributed to the fact that Rowena just died and that Robert has chosen to condemn himself to death, however it reveals much about her and Robert's relationship.

  1. Compare the way Jessie Pope (War Girls) and E.A. Mackintosh (Recruiting) write about civilian ...

    He identifies with the soldiers; his attitude is the same as theirs. The reader is left with the feeling that in the last line "come and die", Mackintosh is using the structure of the propaganda phrase, but twisting it to imply "leave the shallow falseness and join me".

  2. Examine the way two poems by Wilfred Owen show the real horrors of war.

    This shares the image we were earlier told in the poem when the soldiers are described to have become decrepit and ill. Here, Owen suggests the physical horrors of war. The next line in the poem, Owen talks of walking to the battle field, "...we curse through sludge..."

  1. POETRY OF WORLD WAR 1 - THE GREAT WAR

    The Soldier addresses the notion of duty to ones country that was a large part of what many young men felt at the beginning of World War 1. It speaks of dying for ones country and of the virtues of Englishness.

  2. World War 1 Poetry.

    In 'Who's for the game?' Jessie Pope used a regular number of syllables for each line in a quatrain. For example, in the first stanza, 'who's for the game, the biggest that's ever played,' this line has a total of nine syllables, and correlates with line three of the stanza 'who'll grip and tackle the job unafraid?'

  1. The First World War changed the way that people thought about war and patriotism. ...

    The title has a double meaning. The poem begins by describing the cold night. The soldiers are so cold that their 'brains ache.' They are worried because the night is silent and they are only used to lots of noise.

  2. History - World War One

    during war to keep a stable economy for your country everybody who contributes aides the population greatly. Question 3: In what ways did the attitude of the soldiers and civilians change towards the war and the enemy between 1914 and 1918?

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work