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What Methods Do the Poets of 'Who's For the Game?' and 'Fall In' Use to Persuade the Men of the Time to Join the British Army?

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Introduction

What methods do the poets of 'Who's for the Game?' and 'Fall In' use to persuade the men of the time to join the British Army? 'Fall In' and 'Who's for the Game?' are both poems with a purpose to try and encourage and persuade the men of the time to go to war. Some of the techniques used are the same and others are different, in this essay I am going to explain the similarities and differences of the two poems. Firstly, both poems include rhetorical questions. A quote from 'Who's for the Game?' says, 'Who wants a turn to himself in the show? And who wants a seat in the stand?' and a quote from 'Fall In' says, 'But where will you look when they give you the glance that tells you they know you flunked?' The main purpose of these questions is to get the reader to answer them mentally. Rhetorical questions are a type of propaganda, they are used in both of these poems as a way of informing the reader that if he doesn't go to war he is a coward and he won't be able to look his children in the eye when he tells them that he never went. Another line from 'Fall In' says 'Cut what will you lack when your mate goes by with a girl who cuts you dead?' ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand, Harold Begbie, uses a completely different approach, more of a condescending tone, 'What will you lack, sonny, what will you lack' 'How will you fare, sonny, how will you fare. In the far-off winter night, when you sit by the fire in an old man's chair, And your neighbors talk of the fight?' Even Harold Begbie's choice of using the personal pronoun 'sonny' is condescending. Even though the framework for both poems focus towards the same conclusion and carry the same message- 'it's best to fight'- Harold Begbie is more direct in his approach and concentrates on the consequences that may happen or the regrets you may have if you don't fight. However, Jessie Pope has a much more friendlier and light-hearted approach. She writes as if she were a friend encouraging another friend to join in a fun game that at the same time will benefit your country. Another difference between the two poems is that Jessie Pope refers to war as a game- 'Who's for the Game, the biggest that's played, The red crashing game of a fight?'- This is a metaphor. She's saying that fighting in the war is like taking part in a big game. This gives the poem a friendlier and jollier tone, which is a good way to persuade men to go to war. Harold Begbie, however, focuses more on using emotional blackmail, talking more about future regrets that the men may have. ...read more.

Conclusion

Repetition is used to help the reader retain the key points and to get the message of the poem across. Another obvious difference between the two poems is that 'Fall In' has eight lines per verse and 'Who's for the Game?' only has four. Harold Begbie uses rhetorical techniques to create a more dramatic effect. He covers a larger framework enabling the reader to jump forward in time to ponder the consequences of not joining the army. Jessie Pope reverts to a lighter hearted, fast moving framework which is shorter but still direct. The poems convey certain feelings and ideas. Both indicate that if you don't go to war you will regret it in the future and will also have to explain to future family and friends why you maybe considered a coward. The poems also extol the virtues of fighting, arguing that it is good to be part of the group of men who are prepared to fight and that fighting is almost an adventure, 'Who knows it won't be a picnic- not much- Yet eagerly shoulders a gun? Who would much rather come back with a crutch Than lie low and be out of the fun?' (Who's for the Game?) In the alternative if you fail to fight you will be embarrassed, for example, from 'Fall In', 'And your neighbors talk of the fight? Will you slink away, as it were from a blow, Your old head shamed and bent?' Both poems are very good at playing on people's desires to be heroic and not to let others- or your country- down. ...read more.

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