Attitudes to War

War has become a harrowing aspect of the fear of everyday life. The affects of war are still significant today; this can be especially seen within people. People, who have lived through, experienced or even fought in war clearly demonstrate the affects that war can have on a person. It is these affects and fears of war that lead to so many different views and opinions on how war is deceived. This is why poetry is written, to express these different thoughts and opinions. The war poems studied clearly demonstrate these different attitudes.

The issues of propaganda, recruitment, realaity and changes in view are most notably conveyed in the poems studied. Propaganda and recruitment poems are linked. They were both designed to get people to join and contribute to the war effort. One way of doing this was to play on the guilty conscious of men that hadn’t joined the army. The is shown in ‘In Flanders Field’ where John McRae writes: “To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be your to hold high” This is telling the men that arnt fighting in the war that they need to replce the ones that have died for their country and carry on.

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This would make men feel guilty if they weren’t contributing to the war, as fellow countrymen are diey to save England they would feel it was their duty to go and fight. This is also seen in ‘Fall In’ by Harold Begbie where the text says: “Clamour to learn of the part you took In the war that kept men free? ” This is playing on man’s guilty conscious realising that it is his duty to fight and join the men that are dieying to keep them free. Men are fighting and dying to keep him free, this obviously sets in on the guilty conscious and would incourage men to join and help.

Propaganda and recruitment poems also desive entering the war as heroic and brave to help encourage men to join. This is shown in ‘Fall In’ by Harold Begbie,”For Men who are brave and strong” this is also seen in’ The Two Mothers’ “Yon Brave Recruits, the nations pride” and in ‘In Flanders Fields’, “The larks, still bravely singing” These poems all show that it is vied as heroic and brave to join the war effort and thatit is for the nation. This is well play on male attitudes wanting to be brave and heroic which would encourage men to join and fight.

Another technigue used to make men want to join the war is to write about the war in false pretenses. Most of the recruitment and properganda poems precive war very different from reality, this is because they are written for a reason in mind, which is to get men to join the war effort. This is shown in ‘who’s for the game? ‘ this is shown where Jessie Pope writes ” Who’s for the game, the biggest played” In this poem war is described as a game. In fact none of the herific realiaty of the war is included. By comparing it to a game men feel a lot more confident about joing and becoming part of a team.

This is also shown in ‘Fall In’ Where Harold Begbie writes: “When your children yet to be… When you sit by the fire in an old man chair” This poem also dosnt include the horrifying reality of war like ‘who’s for the game? ‘. It talks about after the war and plays on men insecurities to get them to join including aspects of children, isolation, realsionships and reputation and what these will be desived if you don’t join the war effort, but it is the fact that it talks about all these thing as if the war is going to be won this like who’s for the game? ‘ will given men more confidence in going in for battle.

Also like who’s for the game? ‘ Fall In’ also includes the aspect of becoming a team, “When your brothers stand to the tyrants’ blow” This describes fellow solders as being brothers, being part of a family fighting together for each other. By being Described as a team or a family would give the solders more confidence to go and fight because they know the people around them are fighting with them for them. All these propergana and rescruitment contrast witht the reality poems about the war. The reality poems are usually written by poets with past exspriance of the war. The 1st hand exsperiance gives them a true insight to the war and is reflected in their poems.

This is seen in poems such as “Dulce et Ducorum Est” by Wilfred Owen. This poem contrasts all of the recruitment poem because it includes the hoorific reality of war, “bent double, like old beggars under sacks” This shows what war is really like for the soldiers, and that it isn’t easy and that they sufer hard times unlike what is shown in the recruitment poems. In “Dulce et Ducorum Est” where Wilfred Owen uses “My friend” to address the reader, it can be seen as mocking poems such as “Fall in” and their relaxed laugguage used to descibe war, when we know from the rest of the poem that this is a serios and lifes are being lost.

These dreadful images of lifes being loast are portrayed a lot within some war poem because this is the truth of what really does happen. In the “Drummer Hudge” written by Thomas Hardy we can clearly seee the loss of innocent life where he writes: “They throw in Drmmer Hudge, to rest Uncoffined- just found” By using a child it reinforces the loss of an inncent lifes and the tradgy that the war brings. This is also seen in “For the Fallen” by LaURENCE Binyon where he writes: “They were young… They fell with their faces foe They shall not grow old”

This poem also uses a child to reinforce the image of inncocent people dying. This brings the harsh reality of young prosperous men dying. This harrowing aspect of war contrasts to the recruitment poems such as “Fall In” where such aspects of war arnt even considered. Description of the war in poems such as “Dulce et Ducorum Est” seen in the text where it says: “He plunges at me, guttering, cocking, drowning” and in storeys such as “Captain Corelli” shown where wrote: “The pieces of Skull looked grey and were coated in membrane and thick blood”

This harsh description was the reality of the war that the writer had exsperianced. The emotive lanuguage used to decribed what is happenong conveys the dreadful conditions. The grusiome detail that the writer goes into is in complete contast to the recruitment poems such as ‘Fall in’ and ‘ Whos’ for the game’ that go into no detail about any fighting or reality of the war. They are just brought forward to the war on false pretences whereas these poems convey the real images that the soilders are likely to experience.