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Write a comparison between Jessie Pope's 'Who's for the Game?' and Mackintosh's 'Recruiting' considering the content, form and language in the poems.

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Write a comparison between Jessie Pope's 'Who's for the Game?' and Mackintosh's 'Recruiting' considering the content, form and language in the poems. EA Mackintosh's 'Recruiting' and Jessie Pope's 'Who's for the Game?' are both effective poems to look at when making a comparison between views of war in poetry, since there is definite contrast between the two. The primary difference is that Mackintosh's poem is very much anti-war whereas Pope's poem takes a pro-war stance. As the poems are so fundamentally different in their approach to the topic it is not surprising that the rhyming schemes and language employed are also different. Jessie Pope's 'Who's for the Game?' presentation of war is quite different to that of Mackintosh, she is very pro war and does not regard it to be a life ending opportunity. With her poem she is actively trying to recruit young men, she attempts to do so by aiming her poem at the ordinary working classes, for this she uses everyday language. ...read more.


This poem is a recruiting poem with the aim of encouraging men to volunteer to join the forces. It was written at the beginning of the First World War and therefore the true disastrous effects of the war had not been experienced. Those left behind, women, children and exempt men, were often unaware of the true horror of the war and instead were seduced by a romantic ideal, this is what appears to have happened to Pope. Other poets and many soldiers, who saw her as typical of the unfeeling civilian who was supporting the war from the relative safety of the home front, particularly detested Jessie Pope, EA Mackintosh was one of these people. EA Mackintosh's 'Recruiting' is in total contrast to Jessie Pope's 'Who's for the Game?' It is a satirical view of the propaganda going on back home to an increasingly patriotic society. "Fat civilians wishing they could go and fight the Hun, Can't you see them thanking God, That they're over forty one?" ...read more.


Pope makes the war sound like a huge source of entertainment, referring to it as 'fun', with the added bonus of fighting for your country. Mackintosh keeps to his anti war status throughout the poem and regards signing up for the war as helping to 'swell the names in the causality list'. Mackintosh ends his poem on a rather sinister but truthful note 'come and die'. Joining the war was not as Pope described and the sad truth was Mackintosh's description was probably accurate. Jessie Pope ends her poem on a positive note making the reader feel their country actually needs them and are 'calling for you.' Both these poems are effective in studying the literature of the First World War as they both present such different pictures. Mackintosh's poem is an excellent example of poetry portraying the realism of war whereas Pope's poem is an admirable model of the unfortunate attitude cultivated on the home front. The contrast between the two allows the reader to see the reality of the First World War from two different perspectives. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

There are some insightful analytical comments in this essay and there is evidence of engagement with the texts and comparative ability. Wider reading and background reading is also evident, as contextual comments are offered.

To improve, the essay requires some structural re-organisation to ensure a more coherent argument is conveyed. This can begin at the planning stages where topics for analysis need to be decided, such as use of imagery, voice/tone of the poem, structural features etc. These can then form more substantial paragraphs that use, as a guide, a clear topic sentence, evidence from the poem, analysis, and contextual reference if relevant. As it is here, a comparative essay can be written analysing one poem first, then addressing the second, although the second half of the essay needs to refer back to the first poem. Another way to structure the essay is to integrate analysis of both poems throughout, using aspects of narrative as listed above to compare and contrast throughout.

Three stars ***

Marked by teacher Lucy Foss 13/05/2013

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