Compare 'The Drum' by John Scott and 'The Send-off' by Wilfred Owen

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Compare ‘The Drum’ by John Scott and ‘The Send-off’ by Wilfred Owen

Both writers have different ways of presenting their ideas about slaughter and sacrifice. While in The Drum, John Scott plainly shows that his feelings are that those who died in the war are being slaughtered and not sacrificed. Meanwhile, in the Send-off, Owen shows the ignorance of the people at home, who do not know the true horrors of the war.

In the Drum, from the first line of the poem, John Scott immediately let’s the readers know his dislike of the war by saying

        ‘I hate that drum’s discordant sound,’

This is referring to the drum that is sound before the men go out to battle. Therefore, John Scott associates the sound of the drum war. As John Scott says he hates the drum he is showing is hatred of the war and slaughter that goes on. As this line is repeated in the second stanza, it emphasises the writer’s hatred of the war.

Another way Scott effectively presents his ideas is by using different language in each of the stanzas. In the first stanza it shows what the drum means to the young lads who dream of being a soldier. This gives a positive view on sacrifice, as it uses words like ‘fall’, which is very romanticised language. This stanza gives the idea that is very heroic and brave to die for ones country. In total contrast the second stanza shows John Scott’s views on war and he shows the death that occurs is more slaughter than sacrifice. Instead of using romanticised language he says

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        ‘And mangled limbs, and dying groans,’

This view gives a more graphic and realistic image to what war was really like. The second stanza is used to shock the readers so they can understand the true horrors of war. By using two contrasting stanzas, Scott effectively presents his criticism on the way people perceive war.

Another way John Scott presents his ideas is by creating strong and powerful images. In the poem he uses personification to do this. In the poem personification is used when it says

‘And all that Misery’s hand bestows

To fill the catalogue of human woes.’ ...

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This essay is set out as comparative essay but instead the analysis covers each poem in almost full isolation. There are some good points made but further links need to be made between the poems to show an understanding of the similarities and differences in the texts. 3 Stars