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A Comparison of 'Route March Rest' and 'Exposure'

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Introduction

Read again Route March Rest by Scannell. Compare this poem with one other from the post-1914 selection showing how imagery and language are used to convey attitudes to war. Vernon Scannell's 'Route March Rest' and Wilfred Owen's 'Exposure' both use imagery of nature and the environment of the soldiers to convey the poets' attitude to the war. Scannell's describes 'B Company' as 'drowsy with dust and summer,' suggesting that the heat of summer allows the soldiers to relax. However he also uses onomatopoeia on 'purred' and 'drummed' to intensify the heaviness that the soldiers are feeling. This suggests that Scannell feels that war causes natural things; the weather, to become intensified to the soldiers, suggesting that they have become more sensitive to the beauty of nature as opposed to the ugliness of war. ...read more.

Middle

This fundamental English-ness and the use of tranquil language suggests the calm and innocence of civilians, and people not involved in the war. This conveys Scannell's attitude that the war affects everyone, and that no one, not even 'children, bight as buttercups,' escapes. Owen further enforces his opinion that war is unnatural and wrong by using a pararhyme rather than a true rhyme. This use of rhymes such as 'dazed' and 'dozed,' and 'brambles' and 'rumbles,' captures the dislocation and abnormality of war, and reinforces Owen's attitude that war is a terrible thing. Owen also captures the tragic patriotism of the soldiers, as they 'believe that not otherwise can...suns smile true on child;' they believe that they have to fight in order to protect their homes and families, but now have resignedly accepted their fate - to die. ...read more.

Conclusion

This action is so decisive that it becomes tragic. The soldiers feel that their only course of action is to die. The decisiveness also suggests to the reader that dying is the only positive path; that death would be better than continuing to live like this. Owen's use of 'to us the doors are closed,' suggests that the doors of life are closed to the soldiers; they will never have a normal life now. This poignancy conveys Owen's attitude that war is pointless. Both Scannell and Owen use language and imagery of nature to convey their respective attitudes to war. Owen uses personification and pararhyme to convey the pointlessness and dislocation of war, whereas Scannell uses imagery of the quintessential English village to suggest how war affects everyone, and how it can take away the innocence and vitality of nature. ?? ?? ?? ?? Joanna Bartlett 11vi English Literature War Poetry Comparison ...read more.

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