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

To what extent do the writers show that the British public knew little of the true extent of war?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent do the writers show that the British public knew little of the true extent of war? The extract from a 'Strange Meeting' clearly shows the very limited knowledge that the British public where exposed to about the true horrors of the First World War. When compared to the letter Vera to Roland from 'Letters from a Lost Generation' her writing suggests that the British public were more aware of the reality of war, however there was still not a great understanding about what the soldiers' where experiencing emotionally. 'Strange Meeting' is a modern novel written in past tense, which adds the value of hindsight to its content and can convey that looking back, the majority of the British public where in fact almost oblivious to what was happening to those fighting in the war. The letter, however, is from a women, at home, writing to a soldier who is at war. It is therefore personal and a genuine example of the British public. The novel is also written in third person and the soldier's name is not mentioned, which sets a detached and distant tone, representative of the isolated feeling that dominates the extract. ...read more.


She says that "any number of weary apprehensive nights & days is not too high a price for the happenings that have led to my being able to feel the anxiety I do..." Therefore, Vera knows that worrying is only a small effect of war and it is a better one to pay for the sake of the soldiers' lives. The "..." is also shows her pausing for thought of this complex idea and the idea of losing someone so close to her, again making emotion the essence of the letter. Vera understands that "thin grows the barrier between life and death in those trenches" whereas the first implication of the public even acknowledging the soldiers in the trenches is the "ladies who came on Wednesdays to knit, grey and green socks and mittens and helmets, for the coming winter at the front". It reveals that the British public considered trivial pastimes like knitting their contribution to the war when others where sacrificing their lives. The contrast between the unknowing British public and the man is suggested through the symbolism, "shadows were long and black, against the brightness of the sun". ...read more.


Even though he does "hated" being at home, he did not want to be back at war either. He does not want to sleep because his memories haunt him, "he did not want to go to sleep". In conclusion, 'Strange Meeting' conveys that the British public knew little of the true extent of war and that the soldiers who returned from it were permanently changed as a result of it. They were not the same people, which made them feel strange to be home. They became bitter towards those surrounding them who were able to carry on as normal and did not address the subject of war because they knew nothing about it. The letter from Vera to Roland in 'Letters from a Lost Generation' conveys that the British public had more knowledge of the threat of war than the novel. Vera addresses the risks and dangers of war and goes into detail about the threats facing soldiers. The letter suggests that even when Vera was more aware of the true extent of war, it was still hard to imagine and that she was affected by it differently to soldiers. To her, war evoked worry for the life of her loved one fighting but this is the limit of her understanding of the true nature of war. ?? ?? ?? ?? WW1 Literature ...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. WW1 Letter.

    First of all we bombarded the German front line trenches for 7 days and 7 nights. After those 7 days we all walked over No Man's Land in neat, perfect lines and we then went over the top. Going over the top means cutting through the barbed wire and firing at the enemy.

  2. Strange Meeting

    I knew you in this dark: for so you frowned Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed I parried; but my hands were loath cold. Let us sleep now....' Tone * Bitterness and sadness * Dark and somber perspective of the war Theme * The great lie of the

  1. Compare Vera Brittian

    gloom over the poem and express the heart wrenching emotions of sorrow, despair and grief upon which the poem is based. The opening line of Hardy's 'A wife in London' is a lot less affective: 'She sits in a tawny vapour' the line is more impersonal than Brittains, boldly emotional

  2. "Discuss how two or three writers treat the subject of war."

    veins/drop, and ever dropping," Maybe he is trying to imply that men in war are destined to die as poppy roots are already in their blood ready to grow. The poet uses the past participle "dropping" to imply the war is on going and continuous.

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