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With Reference to six poems, explain how attitudes to war changed over the course of World War One

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With Reference to six poems, explain how attitudes to war changed over the course of World War One World War One, or as most historians refer to it "The Great War," was supposed to be the war to end all wars. From 1914 to 1918, young men were encouraged to sign up to fight for the British army against the might of the Germans. Because conscription wasn't introduced until 1916, recruitment songs, posters and poetry were needed to encourage men to sign up. These songs and poems were specially written using a wide variety of rhetorical devices so as to display the potential advantages that joining the army could bring. Most recruitment poems have subtle similarities as they are all written for the same purpose: to persuade. The main way they do this is through the use of rhetorical devices. In the poem 'Who's for the game?' the first three verses have rhetorical questions featuring heavily. For example, "Who'll grip and tackle the job unafraid" and "Who'll give his country a hand?" This also occurs in "Fall In" with the line, "Will you send a strangled cheer to the sky / and grin till your cheeks are red?" These words are examples of rhetorical devices. They make you question yourself after you have read it about whether or not you enlist. ...read more.


an eggshell" This is a good example as it likens a man's head to an eggshell which is very easy to smash. The choice of simile here suggests that human life is fragile Imagery plays a huge part in both poems. "Peace" is showing war in a positive way like in the line "...we have found release there," this meaning that war has cleansed them from the boring Edwardian society that they lived in before the war. "God! How I Hate You," in contrast shows war in the opposite way, with the gruesome wording in the latter section. "Spattered all bloody," is one of the strongest phrases in the poem and it is made all the more poignant with the last two lines. These lines are almost mocking the young-soldier poets, saying that even though that the war is so ghastly, "...still God's in His Heaven" and all is right in the world. There are also hints at sarcasm, which is meant to make the soldier poets embarrassed about what they've written. The last poems I am going to look at are "Dulce et Decorum est" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth." "Dulce et Decorum est" is a war poem written by Wilfred Owen in collaboration with Siegfriend Sassoon. Wilfred Owen was seen as one of the most important war-poets in World War One. ...read more.


This creates a shocked and surprised mood to the comparison of shells to choir boys. With the line, "What candles may be held to speed them all?" It questions whether or not anyone cares about the amount of death that is happening. It says that boys won't care because they are the ones that possibly could go to war in the future. Girls will be the only ones feeling sorry for them and "girl's brows shall be their pall." "Palls" are the cloth used to cover coffins so it means that the girls will be the most caring people. Also at the end of the poem, to round the end off, they use a metaphor about death. "And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds" This likens death to the drawing-down of blinds, or in the soldier's context, their eyes closing. This makes the reader feel more accepting of death, it being likened to just drawing down of blinds - something that some people do every evening, and there is a sense of finality over this sombre and grave ending. In conclusion, my favourite poem was "Anthem for Doomed Youth," because it had a very musical background, "no prayers nor bells" and "...save the choirs." The poem is a great poem, I think because two poets wrote it together. With two poets working on one poem, they can annotate each other's work and make additions to it and change some parts to suit both there own. ...read more.

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