• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Commentary on Aftermath by Sassoon

Extracts from this document...


Aftermath commentary "Aftermath" gives insight into the post-war British culture that places a lot of importance on subduing agonizing memories and reveals how that culture, by expecting an individual to forget, intensifies the leftover desolation that proceeds from the war. The poem sends a very thought-provoking message that conveys to its readers that for society in order to regenerate after such a catastrophe, one needs not to submit to the urge to repress agonizing memories, but to remember and accept the sufferings he has undergone instead. "Aftermath" is a reflection upon the war after it has ended, critically discussing the post-war society and that society's progression of moving forward from the tragedy of war. The motif that consistently reoccurs throughout the poem evaluates the key issue that is evident in its title - the "aftermath" of war. Sassoon's exposition recounts how although young men are "reprieved" from war and have made their ways back into society, they still are confronted by the "haunted gap" of their minds; his recount therefore suggests that returning soldiers are unable to properly move forward with life, because they still have not yet learned to accept and live with the terror of the past. ...read more.


However, soon after, Sassoon has also taken upon what sounds like the voice of a soldier who has returned from the war, reflecting on the despair and horror of war - the "stench of corpses rotting," the "hopeless rain," the "doomed and haggard faces" of soldiers. This voice explores how alienated and disoriented a soldier would feel being re-integrated back into society right after the war and very powerfully expresses the resentment towards the oblivious and ignorant civilian community who do not try to be understanding of the difficulties a soldier must overcome. Moreover, the two antithetical poetic voices (of the soldiers and of society) create a dramatic divergence that resembles the conflicts between two social groups at the time: one group wants to remember while the other wants to forget. It's criticizing British culture by justifying that what society idealizes or assumes is good is not necessarily good in actuality for an individual. On top of that, the form of the poem also contributes a lot to the message Sassoon is trying to get across as it greatly reflects his sentiments and viewpoints. There is hardly any uniformity in the structure of the stanzas except for the fact that the longer ones are non-italic while the shorter ones are written in italics. ...read more.


At the same time, it is reinforcing Sassoon's appeal "Do you every stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?'" This is an earnest request calling for people to contemplate on the sufferings they have caused instead of choosing the 'easy' way out where they can just forget. This intensifies Sassoon's revolutionary stance against such convention - what Sassoon is trying to convey completely goes against society's expectations and against traditional values, which have placed a lot of importance on indoctrinating people into believing the war has been right. Once again, Sassoon is rejecting the idea of forgetting. Once again, he is declaring that need to remember and to accept. "Aftermath" is a powerful and thought-provoking appeal to the post-war society not to submit to the repressive government at the time. Sassoon is an iconic figure who is, on behalf of the community of soldiers who have returned from war, standing up against the uncaring government who are relentlessly indoctrinating its subjects into neglecting the memories of war and overlooking the mistake the whole society has made. The poem graphically gives insights into a divergent and segregated society where one social group wants one thing and another group wants another, where the culture is not embracing the community of returning soldiers although claiming to be integrating them back into society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Owen's war poetry

    There is a strong echo between "But nothing happens" (Exposure) and "but no one bothers" (Insensibility). War has made such a difference in the lives of those who went to the front and those who did not that it actually divides and weaken the link between human beings and Owen

  2. Articles of VN War

    Sau 1975, Nguy�n Khac Tu lo dien l� vi�n dai t� Viet Cong. H� tro tan t�nh cho Ho�ng Kim Loan l� Tr� Quang, ��n Hau. C� th� n�i tu 1963, sau dao ch�nh, d�n 1966, l� thoi gian n�i loan Mi�n Trung cua Th�ch Tr� Quang, Th�ch ��n Hau.

  1. Commentary on "Anthem for Doomed Youth"

    Weapons, here, for example are personified with the expression "monstrous anger of the guns", which replace the preconceived sounds of the bells and peaceful processions, with loud and roaring noises of the instruments of mass slaughter. This personification is of specific significance, as it suggests that the anger of the

  2. Jane Eyre - Through A Critical Lens

    She is then exposed to Helen's more optimistic view of Christianity in which her faith relies on God's goodness and the power of love. When Jane is a woman, she meets St.

  1. Commentary on Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owens

    the "stuttering rifles' rapid rattle"; the alliteration echoes the gunfire and the onomatopoeia allows the reader to hear the harshness and irregular but constant sounds of the guns. By implying that these guns "patter out their hasty orisons", Owen points out the irony that these men who have gone to

  2. An Imaginary Life - Commentary

    Hence presenting the capacity of the natural environment to supply unity and insignificance of human boundaries. And it is these animalistic instincts that are resented yet again through the image o the water in the stream. "The stream shakes out its light ...

  1. Historical Vietnam Events

    V� t�nh h�ng x�m c� d�ng l� bao tuy nhi�n ho h�i li�u, kh�ng bi�t c�ch chon d� duong cho bui mang duoc t�t goi l� "c� hau", an c�n nhu vay l� c� nuoc tiet noc tre lu�n. Nhung ho cung kh�ng ban t�m d� � lam, v� b�

  2. Christmas - origins, traditions and ideas for making gifts.

    * Wrap you porch post with wide red ribbon to make it look like a peppermint stick. * Live up north? Make a snowman! Snow is free :) * Hang little jingle bells from tree branches, etc. When the wind blows it will cause a nice little jingle-jingle.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work