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Spring Offensive and Exposure , Whos For The Game? and God! How I Hate You, Dulce Et Decorum Est and Does It Matter. War poems compared.

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Introduction

English War Poetry Coursework The First World War began in 1914 and ended in 1918. Throughout the two years many men volunteered thinking that it was an opportunity to fight for their country. But they were badly mistaken. Instead of what they thought war was going to bring them, excitement and adventure, they received horrors beyond imagination. 'Spring Offensive' and 'Exposure' are two poems where the setting and atmosphere contribute to the ideas expressed by the poets. Wilfred Owen, who fought in the war and knew what the conditions where like, wrote both these poems which show different sides of war. One shows what war was like in the spring and the other shows what war was like in the winter. In the first section of 'Spring Offensive,' Wilfred Owen describes what the soldiers were doing just before they went to battle. The soldiers relax and think of what could happen to them, "Knowing their feet had come to an end of the world. Marvelling they stood, and watched the long grass swirled." The soldiers rest before they go to battle. The word 'Marvelling' means that the soldiers stand there on the green grass and looking at the beautiful nature around them, thinking how this might be the last time they see something as beautiful. ...read more.

Middle

The difference between the two poems is that one is set in a cold environment and the other has a warm setting. The words 'May breeze' indicates that in the spring it was quiet warm, it was the perfect season to fight in because it wasn't too hot or too cold. In 'Exposure' it was the opposite. It was the worst season to fight in and Owen describes winter as being, 'merciless' because the winter had no mercy on any soldier. Even the title of the poem itself indicates that the men were 'exposed' to the cold. The cold made the soldiers weak and vulnerable so they could not give 100% in the fight. 'Who's For The Game?' and 'God! How I Hate You' view war in completely different ways. One poem discusses how war is good for the world, using a propagandistic technique to persuade soldiers to join the war and fight for their country. The other discusses the reality of war and describes to us the conditions or war behind the propagandistic image. In 'God! How I Hate You' Arthur Graeme West uses slang in the title to point out that he does not literally mean that he hates God, but that he hates people like Rupert Brooke and Jessie Pope for telling lies and using propagandistic techniques in their poems to persuade young men that war is challenging. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Come, gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs" This phrase describes a soldier who had been exposed to gas. Owen also refers to propagandistic poets like Jessie Pope in his poem using sarcasm like 'my friend' Owen, in fact, despises people like Jessie Pope and hate the fact that they have written poems about war like its all a game and nobody really gets hurt. 'Does It Matter?' is similar to 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' in a way that it also discusses the horrors of war but in more detail. Sassoon's poem gives us details or the after effects and wounds of war. These wounds aren't only physical, but metal as well. "Does it matter? - loosing your legs?...Does it matter? - losing your sight?...Do they matter? - those dreams from the pit?" Many men that fought in the war received some kind of wound, whether it was a scratch on the arm or the complete loss of sight. In my opinion the worst wound of them all is suffering from shell shock because it's a mental disease and once you get it completely ruins your life because you go mad. Sassoon also uses sarcasm in the quotes, pretending to agree with the civilian speaker of each stanza. He knows that the reality of war wounds is more cruel ,though, as it means a lifetime of suffering and people fear and dislike the wounded and want to forget them quickly. Olenka Andrusyak 10 Lisieux ...read more.

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