Illussions Of Heroism Wwi Era Illusions Of Disillusion In Europe.

961 words - 4 pages

What better way to serve your country than with enthusiastic noble patriotism, to fight for honour and prestige to protect your nation. Only to find out with the sacrifice of your life that such a romantic ideal is an illusion. The illusions of heroic, noble and enthusiastic notions that people believed of war were destroyed quickly by reality and were demonstrated in literature of front line veterans like Remarque, Sassoon and Owen. The mass society welcomed the notion of war. Their expectation of war found it a) glamorous with the illusion that it was the ultimate selfless act to show one's bravery and ennoblement that Remarque destructs with his description of trench warfare, b) war offered communitarism aspects of society that banded men as brothers in a like cause that Sasson shows as an illusion that implies how real class lines still existed in war with his poem that displays his discontent for senior officers, c) the preference of war over peace by civilian society did not last for the duration of the war but rather showed their naivety when a rift had formed between them and the soldiers when they returned as remnants of men that Owen portrays in his poem about the misery of war.With no surviving veterans of the last war, propaganda sensationalized the ideals of combat that it would make clean-cut men brave, noble and heroic. At the beginning of the Great War it was expected to be over in a matter of weeks with no real violent repercussions. The enthusiasm of young men to join in the ranks of combat would make them stronger and better men, was an illusion that Remarque describes from his own front line experience. From the perspective of a young German soldier, Remarque writes, "we have become wild beasts." (68) And " crouching like cats we run on, overwhelmed by this wave that us along, that fills us with ferocity, turns us into thugs and murderers, into God only knows what devils" (68) eludes that combat has not heroized men but disintegrated them to primitive beings who "have lost all feeling for one another"(69). In the heat of war, when the loss of lives is too great to handle and extreme violent conditions are at hand, he remarks that, " we are insensible, dead men, who through some trick, some dreadful magic, are still able to run and kill" (69) that only when the battle is over and needs are satisfied that it is "then gradually we become something like men again" (69). Men like Remarque, who witnessed the violence of the battles from the front lines, quickly discovered the disillusion of war being romantically heroic.War was perceived that it would individualize or release men from class lines of society where Sassoon shows in his poem that this perception as being an illusion and war did not inhibit a...

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