World war one went on for four years, and every year that went by seemed like the soldiers were living in hell. The conditions were atrocious and the soldiers could not move, the soldiers got injured and it got worse every day. At first the poets were very optimistic and all had very good opinions of how good the war would be. Every poet was writing about the war, in every poem there were only positive things said, so everyone thought it would be really exciting to join and they would have a great time there. Then as time went on, they started to wish that they weren’t there. Every young man form the age of 16 was forced to join up
the army, but they thought they would be a hero, so none of them worried about it.
During world war one, there were many recruitment poems being wrote. One of the most famous poets was Jessie Pope. She wrote a famous poem called “Who’s for the game?”, and it was all about trying to persuade young Men to join the army. In the poem she uses a regular rhythm and beat, and this makes the poem seem very up-beat and creates a positive feeling. She also refers to the War as a game “Who’s for the game?”, I think she uses this technique because many young Men would have played games. So they would have looked at this and thought to there self that it would be very enjoyable. As we all know though it was totally the opposite and was very horrible almost like hell. So many Men did not realise the consequences of War and how bad it really was, becuae of people like Jessie Pope lying about War. At each start of a stanza a question is asked “who’ll toe the line for the signal go” so the reader has to answer these questions, and think about them. So many Men thought to their selves I should join the army, I should fight for my country. In the poem she mentions about injuries, but not in a bad way, “who would rather come back wit a crutch” so hear she is trying to tell the readers that if they do go to war, they will only come back with a crutch, rather then a leg being blown off. As we know though the soldiers were in for a shaock, because many of them dint even come back.
Another poem was Dulce et Decorum est. This poem was writing during the war, and talking about the realism of how bad it really was. In the poem Wilfred Owen talks about the disgraceful conditions of the war. “Began to trudge”
When we think of people trudging, we think to our selves it must have been muddy and really hard to walk in. So now we start to see hoe bad it really is. Owen also uses “thick green light”, here he is talking about the gas, and through this we can only imagine the pane the soldiers went through. In “Who’s for the game?” Jessie pope only mentioned having a crutch if u did get injured, but as read through “Dulce et Decorum est.” we find out how serious the injuries were. All “went, lame, blind and drunk fatigue” .So the soldiers were not only on a crutch, Amy of them could hardly walk or even stand from starvation and tiredness. A lot of the soldiers turned blind and had to carry on walking for miles without stopping. At the start of the poem, Wilfred Owen tells us about the appearance of the soldiers. Old beggars under sacks” here Owen is referring to the soldiers looking old and weak under there huge heavy bags. So all though the first stanza we are reminded of how bad the conditions were at war, and how hard it was for the soldiers to get on with there life.
In the first stanza the pace of the poem is very slow, so it brings the impression that not much is happening and just that soldiers are trying to “sludge” through the thick mud. So Wilfred Owen decides to make a sudden change in the pace and rythem.In the second stanza the first few words are “Gas, gas, gas quick boys”. So straight away there is a fast rhythm in the stanza so we immediately know that there will be action. As we read on we find out that someone dies from the poisons of the gas. As we go into the last stanza we find out that Wilfred Owen is writing from experience and that it was his friend that died from the gas, so we find out what really happened in the war.
Another poem that Wilfred Owen has written was “disabled”, this poem is about a young man after the war has ended. Before the man went to war, he used to have loads of friends and all the girls liked him, so he was used to being very popular. Then we he came back from war he realised the reality of war. As we saw in the last poem, war was very horrible and scary. Many people lost limbs and even their lives. This man in the poem had lost both arms and his legs, so luckily he was still alive but really he wanted to be dead.
War had effected him so much, he was almost like a different man When he got back to England, he was told that people would huddle up to applaud the Great War heroes. Then he realised that there was no that, only one person applauded him. All the ladies that looked at him either laughed or turned away in disgust. Unlike when he when all the girls were after hum when he was apparently normal. So war affected him mentally and visually he felt as if no-one loved him or liked him. Everyday painful memories of war were coming back to haunt him. All he could see were young men dying in front of him, and him being able to do nothing about it. At the end of the poem, Owen chooses to take a sarcastic manor of the recruitment promoters. We realise how bad the promoters were really. In this poem we see the effects of war after it has ended and how people’s lives have changed.
After studying all about the war I learnt that war was very horrific and the promoters were very wrong. After the war had ended many of the porters were seen as pure evil. These were the people that put pressure on young men to go to war. In the poem “Who’s for the game”, the attitude of war was really positive and there were no thoughts of how bad it really would be. The recruitment drive was so big, it forced the men to join. All of them thought that it would be an exciting experience for them all and they would be seen as heroes. As we go onto read “Dulce decorum est.” we start to see the attitude change. Soldiers were getting badly injured and some dying so people started to see how bad it was. As we read on the conditions were atrocious, the men could hardly walk and were so tired, and they were dying. The poems that were being written started to change, and the poets were writing about the death of soldiers and how bad it really was. So here we saw a big attitude change. The last poem that I looked at was “Disabled” which was written after the war. This poem tells about the after effects of war. Like when the men came back from war, they were expecting a huge audience but only one or two people applauded them. So overall the attitude of war had changed so much, at first people who wrote recruitment poems were seen as good people but now they are one the most hated people.