‘There is not anything more wonderful’ to ‘Lives are good for you. ‘ This is one of many examples of how dramatically attitudes to war have changed, during and after world war one. Before World War 1 people thought that all the soldiers were heroes no matter what went wrong. A good example of this is the poem, ‘The charge of the Light Brigade. ‘ They charged into their death because of a huge mistake. This poem makes a disaster appear to be a triumph. ‘Honour the charge they made. ‘ The poet is trying to persuade people that the decision they made was for the best.
Another method of persuasion used was rhetorical questions,’ When can their glory fade? ‘ This draws the reader’s attention to the question making them think that their glory shouldn’t fade because it was such a brave decision. ‘Rode the six hundred. ‘ By repeating this four times makes it stand out. Before this sentence there is always something like, ‘Into the valley of death. ‘ This makes them seem very courageous and willing to give up there live. ‘Forward the Light Brigade! ‘ This is an example of hiatus, a dramatic pause. It is repeated a number of times and makes you think of them all charging at their enemy.
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At the start of the World War 1 in 1914 attitudes to the war were that it was great and nothing could be better during war. A poem showing this is, ‘Happy is England Now. ‘ ‘There is not anything more wonderful. ‘ They thought that you couldn’t be happier during war. ‘The new passion stirring in their veins. ‘ They were all looking forward to war and they were getting ready to fight. War was everything to them and nothing else seemed to matter. ‘Happy in those that give, give and endure. ‘ They were persuaded to think that the more they fought and killed people the happier they would be.
The word ‘happy’ is repeated a number of times throughout the poem. People didn’t know any better. They were nai?? ve and believed everything they were told. ‘Destroying dragon. ‘ This is an example of alliteration. By using alliteration it makes the sentence catchy and stand out. The soldiers are being persuaded to kill all their enemies like a dragon. Some of the words rhyme but they are not in any order, ‘deep, sleep. ‘ All the verses are six lines in length. The families back home are also meant to happy even when they are losing people they love, ‘grief itself is proud.
The poem starts of talking about before the war and the excitement ahead of them. Then it talks about during the war and about being happy for those who were brave and gave away their life. After the 1914 – 1918 war people’s attitudes began to change. They did not see war as being wonderful anymore, or see soldiers as brave heroes. They began to see what war was really about. Wilford Owen wrote many poems on his view of the war. One of these poems was the Send off. He describes how innocent the soldiers were, making the tragedies of war seem to be a secret. Faces grimly gay. ‘
This shows that there was an awareness of the tragedy behind the smiles. He also uses alliteration to draw our attention to it. The poem is about new recruits leaving to start training. They are at the train station to start war, ‘they lined the train. ‘ Wilford Owen uses personification to make objects seem as though they are in the conspiracy, ‘unmoved signals nodded and a lamp winked. ‘ The poem is balanced with the verses going 3/2/5 then 3/2/5. He uses rhyme throughout the poem and has the same order in the first half as in the second, ‘went, sent. There were women who came to see them off and pinned flowers on them even if they didn’t know them, ‘women, who gave them flowers. ‘
This shows how much the soldiers were respected for going to war. ‘A few, a few, too few. ‘ This is an example of repetition used to draw our attention to. It shows that not enough people will come back alive and he wants us to notice this by repeating it. At the start of the poem the soldiers were happy and excited about going to war, ‘they sang. ‘ Then at the end of the poem they were quite and unhappy, ‘may creep back, silent. This starts to show that they were gaining experience about the war. Another poem from 1914 – 1918 is ‘Does it Matter’ by Siegfried Sasson.
This is another example of gaining more experience through time. He doesn’t actually say straight out what he thinks but uses irony to get it across. ‘Does it matter losing your legs? ‘ This is one of many examples of irony used. We know now that of course it matters losing your legs, but before and during the war they were encouraged to think it didn’t. The poet tries to persuade people that war is tragic. He uses rhetorical questions to persuade us and draw our attention to it.
The poem shows people the truth about war and how the soldiers are supposed to view it. ‘And people will always be kind. ‘ He uses irony to make it seem as though the soldiers were stupid and really nai?? ve. They quite likely could lose their life but that’s fine as long as people are kind to them. ‘There’s such splendid work for the blind. ‘ This is another example of irony. We know that there isn’t good work for the blind. The first and last lines rhyme, ‘legs, eggs,’ and the second and third lines rhyme, ‘kind, mind. ‘ Rhyming is usually used for something happy.
This is ironic, as we know that the soldier would be sad. In the late twentieth century people now were not afraid to speak out. They now were experienced and knew how tragic war was. The poem, ‘Why Patriots are a But Nuts in the Head,’ is a good example of not being afraid to speak their mind. The title itself is very shocking. Before they wouldn’t have dared to say something so insulting. Even in the 1914 – 1918 poems they tried to hide their views slightly. ‘They wear red, white and blue tinted spectacles. ‘ This is an example of irony because the colour rose means they think everything is great.
This is true as we saw in the early poems people did see everything the good way. ‘Lives are good for you. ‘ We see this as something obvious but before they threw away their lives by going to war. They thought that fighting for your country was more important. Nowadays there are more antiwar organisations, antiwar songs and antiwar films, but unfortunately we also have many wars. These people who fight in the wars have the same attitudes as early poets. This is because they do not see the downside to war. The more experienced these people get, the less they will view war.