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The war begins (ww1)

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The War Begins Essay The First World War began on 4th August 1914, after much anticipation it was going to take place. Before the war started people presumed that it would all be over by Christmas, and that Britain would ambush the Germans and teach them a lesson. When war was declared, people gathered in Trafalgar Square cheering and very few people were against the war. The only people who were against the war were businessmen and the liberal party. A group of people who lacked enthusiasm for the war was the poets, however many chose to write about their support for the war, which in turn became printed in magazines and newspapers quickly turning into propaganda. Many of the common themes written about were the honour they would experience. As this was at the beginning stages of the war, Britain did not know much about going to war and not many people at the time had any experience of it. Therefore they presumed war was going to be honourable and that none of the Britain's would die, but would return and be honoured for fighting for their country. They wrote about how honourable it is to go to war and many quotes in poetry reflect this. In the poem "For The Fallen" it explains about the dead who have died. ...read more.


In "Wake Up England" the tone is bouncy, and sometimes can be quite harsh and shouting sounding. At the end of each sentence there are exclamation marks reflecting the shouty nature of the poem, which could be the chants, or songs that were sung in aid of the war. The tone is once again positive for the war in this poem, there are also capitals used at the end, perhaps meaning the loudness of the chanting and emphasis of the message "England stands for honour. God defend the right". This is also the tone of the poem as it tells themes of patriotism and honour for their country. The poem is mainly about telling the people of England to wake up and get out there and fight. There are many themes talked about in the poem, which explores the positivism toward war such as heroism and patriotism "stand England for honour" and glory "fame of their fathers". Imagery is also used in the poems although this becomes more graphic as the war goes on. In the beginning stages of the war, many poets explored the images of the countryside, as it was something Britain was proud of. In "England is Happy Now", images of the countryside are used such as "ev'n the warm beauty of this spring and summer" and "her hills and rivers and her chafing sea". ...read more.


To get people to join the army, many of the poems were called propaganda which is a subliminal message which is trying to promote something, in this case recruitments for the army. The government set up a organisation of writers who would write for the newspapers, poems and literature which would hopefully promote the war. Some of these writers were Thomas Hardy, H G Wells and Rudyard Kipling. People who read these poems were supposed to be inspired to join the war and fight, which must have worked because so many men wanted to join the army recruitment officers couldn't cope with the amounts of people. 100,000 men were needed but 2 million came forward, much because of the propaganda they were witnessing. It wasn't only poems but posters too. As we can see from the one below, a common image used in poems was also the focus on propaganda too. The poster shows the countryside and tries to prove these are the things, soldiers should fight for. In the other poster, it makes war out to be a game as we can see the solders are playing football and cricket instead of fighting again distorting the real view of war. It makes war out to be a game, which can be fun and rewarding and no harm of death at all. This view however was soon to be changed. ...read more.

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