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How does Rupert Brooke uses language in order to convey a war patriotism?

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Introduction

How does Rupert Brooke uses language in order to convey a war patriotism? Although Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen both wrote war poems they differ broadly from each other. Despite the fact that both authors' have a totally different opinion concerning war they have certain aspects in common. In Rupert Brooke's poem The Soldier he develops a glorifying idea of patriotism. He seeks to transmit the message that it is beautiful to die for one's country - it embellishes death - and that no matter where he is buried the soil he is buried within will absorb his English body, acquire English ways and become in its turn, part of England. Rupert Brooke's 'The Soldier' is very patriotic as Brooke loves his country and is ready to die for it. This perhaps is not surprising as it was written in the first few months of war when the whole country was swept by a tide of patriotic fervour. Early positive feelings and approaches toward World War One diminished over the course of time. War poetry, in the first years of the war, was written to encourage men to go and fight. At the beginning of the battle men were overwhelmed by the idea of being able to fight for their country's future. ...read more.

Middle

Here, he equates the English soldiers' bodies with England. If they die on foreign soil that land will be forever part of England because their soul remains there along with their values and love for England. Their bodies mark the field as English. Brooke does not describe the torturous nature of death in war and only acknowledges how the soldier honors England by dying in the process of defending the nation. Contrarily, Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" was written near the end of the war in 1917. This is why he focuses on the tragedy of war and the conditions of the soldiers. For example, the dramatic imagery "...the blood"/"Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs" (21-22), illustrates how a soldier attempts to escape in vain from drowning in "a green sea" (14) of poison gas. This paints a horrific picture of the soldier fighting for his life while his fellow soldiers watch helplessly as their comrade dies in agony. This is disturbing for the reader because it vividly describes the troops being brutally and impersonally slaughtered. Also, both authors use different tones. Brooke voice is patriotic and encouraging. He does not see the war as a traumatic event, but as a glorious sacrifice. He evokes positive feelings toward the war and describes optimistically the soldiers' thoughts once the war has finished. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wherever they die, Mother England will be proud of them and will remember them. England offers them eternal life. Owen uses vivid similes as when depicts the soldiers as "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks" (1). Generally, one thinks of a soldier as a man full of strength, who stands brave with his uniform and marches confidently to war. In contrast, Owen's description compares the soldiers to penniless men and gives a sense of their non-glorified reality. Their uniforms, their psychological and physical health are destroyed. They cannot even walk straight and many are dying. This imagery sets the mood for the rest of the poem, as it shows how the battle has severely mangled the spirits of the soldiers. Even more poignantly, Owen depicts the monotonous anguish of war when he uses the ambiguous words "distant rest" (3). He lets the reader wonder what kind of rest is to be had. For some soldiers it will be permanent rest, their death; for others just a place to lie down and for some, the end of the war. The poems by Brooke and Owen express opposite concepts. Brooke's poem supports fighting for one's country and patriotism, whereas Owen's poem questions the reasons for fighting a war. Young soldiers that support the war today and have feelings of patriotism and nationalism might end up exchanging these feelings for despair as they are forced to endure the grim realities of prolonged war. ...read more.

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