In this essay I will be comparing the poems ‘war girls’ and ‘in time of war’, both written about or during the First World War. I will be exploring the different attitudes of women at the time and different views of the authors. The essay will be split in half, with the first half on ‘war girls’ and the second on ‘in time of war’. The style of war girls itself is upbeat, rhyming and song like, with alternate rhyming slang for the most part.
The poem left in my mind a generally happy environment, which is a contrast to ‘in time of war’, which is slow, non-rhythmic, and in a sombre mood. War girls’ talks about women coping at home taking on the burden of male jobs as there husbands are away, and ‘in time of war also talks about women coping, albeit in a very different way. In ‘war girls’ the mood is a feeling of ‘lets get on with it’ where ‘in time of war’ seems to be about worry and sorrow. In war girls, the women left in the country take war as a chance to prove themselves capable of taking over men’s jobs and being competent workers until their husbands come back from fighting.
An example of this is on line six, and reads ‘they’re out to show their grit’. This shows to the reader that the women are out attempting to impress and show that they can work and keep the country going, trying to prove to as much themselves then anyone else that they can in fact do it. But as the quotation ’till the khaki soldier boys come marching back’ shows, the women know their positions are only tempery, and they only want them to be tempory, waiting for their husbands to return. There going to keep their end up’ implies some kind of bargain and shows they feel obliged to run the country as their husbands are away fighting for their lives. In ‘in time of war’ the writer seems to be regretful about sending her husband away, possibly to die and is anxious about his return. An example of this is when she describes herself as blind with fear, which shows her fear for her husband’s safety, the fact that she is terrified is shown by her strong use of metaphors.
Her show of fear is apparent unlike in war girls, where they show no fear. When the author says ‘now, braver thought I lack’ we see that she realised the mistake she made earlier, wanting her husband to be a hero sending him away to fight for her like a hero in a film when in fact she was threatening him by sending him away, possibly to die and for no reason apart from her childish want of pride and glory. This is very different to war girls, where there is no question of death or there husbands not returning.
In conclusion, it is very hard for me to find similarities in the two poems apart from the fact both are about women coping in the First World War. In ‘war girls’ the women are happy. In ‘in time of war’ the author is sad. War girls is song like, in time of war is slow and boring in rhythm. War girls generally is about women coping with male business, and coping well, which later helped woman suffrage, whereas in time of war women are breaking down with fear. War girls is about women persevering, where in time of war shows sometimes they did not.