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War Poetry Essay.

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Introduction

War Poetry Essay War was declared on Germany on the fourth of August, 1914. Britain had not fought a major war for over 100 years, and the general public attitude towards war was that Britain were indefatigable, and Germany would indisputably be subjugated before Christmas, 1914, and a glorious victory would be won over Germany. Very little thought was passed to the immense loss of British and civilian life that would be mourned by millions. This was mainly due to the moral produced by propaganda in the form of posters, poetry and film. The high-spirited propaganda lured many credulous young men into the glorious, valiant perception of war, which could be theirs, should they wish to participate. This poem, "Who's for the game?" by Jessie Pope was written at the beginning of the war and only echoes a pro-war attitude. It contains very little negativity about the war. This poem was written for "The Daily Mail" newspaper and encourages young men to take an active role in the war. The poem greatly exaggerates the glory and triumph of the war. The mood of the poem is evident from the light-hearted vocabulary used in the title and the stanzas. The title "Who's for the game?" proposes absolutely no peril, and suggests that the war is in some way reminiscent to a game of Cowboys and Indians, however on a much grander scale. "The biggest that's played." This is very powerful, implying that the winner, is not only a winner, but an undefeatable champion of champions, which would appeal greatly to a young man, making the unapparent risk seem worthwhile, possibly fun. Pope then makes a reference to danger "The red crashing game" Although this is not a direct reference to danger, "Red" often symbolises danger, as in the fantastic, out of this world novel, by John Steinbeck, "Of mice and men" In which the dress worn by the young girl in Weed, and the red often worn by Curley's wife symbolises the dangers of interaction with them. ...read more.

Middle

The constant anticipation of the attack drove many insane, for war was more mentally torturing than it was physically torturing. "But nothing happens" The no-mans-land lying between the allied trenches and the enemy trenches was covered with a mass of barbed wire, its purpose was to slow and prevent an enemy attack on the trenches. The dead often lay tangled in the deadly wire. Owen describes the wind howling through the barbed wire as the dead crying out in agony, caught amongst its brambles. "We hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire, like twitching agonies of men among its brambles." The soldiers ask themselves "What are we doing here?" as they are constantly tormented by the agony of war, having been deceived by the glorious, heroic perception of war described in the poems by Pope and Brooke. Dawn brings new opportunities and a fresh start, however this is not true for the men fighting alongside Owen, dawn brings a repeat of the previous days, inflicting more misery and torture upon the troops, pushing them further into a pit in which there is already very little chance of them escaping from. "Poignant misery of dawn begins to grow." The sentence "Nothing happens" is repeated frequently throughout the poem, as this is also contributing to the death of the soldiers, besides the weather. The quicker something does happen the quicker they can end the misery and return home to see their family and friends, however their chances grow slimmer while they are inactive in the trench only dreaming of past memories and the beautiful English countryside, which they thought they had grown out of so long ago. The had joined the war to get away from such things and to experience the adventure which Pope and Brooke had spoken so boldly of, now they longed for the things which they had once hated. Owen talks of weary men drifting into a dream world "Sun-dozed" where the trenches are "Grassier" and in these dream worlds they ...read more.

Conclusion

four years and the immense suffering which would fall upon soldiers, innocent civilians and the endless pain of families losing loved ones. The glory of war had perished with the millions of young men who had fallen for "The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est" The repeat of WWII shows how little Europe learnt from the colossal consequences of the "Great War" even though the citizens of Europe was permanently scarred and the damage could not be undone. The title "The Great War" seems ironic and ill-fitting, as if there was one word that would be used to describe the war, it should unquestionably not be "Great" However the First World War would certainly be "Great" in the 1920's if it was measured on a scale of destruction. As the death toll mounted it became unambiguous to the public that they had just sent tens of thousands of men off to their deaths. Many of these deaths were unnecessary and the fault of military blunders, which could not be justified. New technology in warfare such as biological weapons caused indescribable amounts of damage, these weapons were extremely effective in the mass obliteration of immense quantities of militia, and were feared by many. As the bad news from Europe poured into Britain and flooded the front page of every newspaper, the populace grew more doubtful if they would ever see the once high-spirited male youth of Britain ever return from the chaos across the channel in the rest of Europe. As the war deepened the public began to understand that war was not about making heroes or role models, but it was about brutality and bloodshed. Even one of the greatest poets of the First World War, Seigfried Sassoon, renowned for his anti-war poetry, wrote about the greatness of war and the "Supreme sacrifice" It was not until suffered the wrath of war for the first time, that he started to write about the true atrociousness which were subjected to tens of thousands of people. ...read more.

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