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Warfare: The Different Viewpoints Of Men And Women From World War I

1681 words - 7 pages

Warfare has always been experienced differently by men and women. In many cases, men are in the frontline and face different conditions as compared to women who are on the home front. World War I is one of the most discussed wars that the world has experienced so far. The sheer extent to which the war affected people in different countries around the different continents around the world is appalling. The structure of the society was shaken by World War I. People no longer lived according to the norms they had known before. Both men and women had to adjust in order to fit the societal experience brought about by the war. Though suffering was experienced by both men and women despite where they were during the war, their experiences were completely different thus making it important to look at these experiences from a deeper perspective.
The Experiences and thoughts of men during World War I
At the beginning of the War, men felt that being part of the troops that were on the frontline was an honorable thing to do. Men who joined the army were seen as patriotic and loyal to their countries. In this perspective, any man who had the strength to go out to fight would voluntarily join the force without any resistance. The feeling was that of enthusiasm as many men wanted to serve their countries. In Britain for example, joining the army was seen as a noble cause and many men would volunteer to leave their families and join the frontline. In addition to this, it was seen as betrayal for fellow countrymen to be on the frontline while one was left at home. Such a person would not earn the respect of the society as he was seen as a traitor who did not love nor respect their country. In this perspective, the thoughts and experiences of men as they joined the forces was one of patriotism and excitement to serve their countries.
However, once the men actually reached the frontline, their experiences completely changed as the situation was completely different. Life in the frontline was something that could not be anticipated and it brought about different thoughts and experiences for different persons. First, being on the frontline meant that one’s life was always at risk. The constant battles between different sides meant that loss of life was a common thing. Therefore, there was no predicting if tomorrow one would be alive or not. This was a cause for fear yet men in the frontline were not in a position to express such a feeling to anyone around them. Feeling afraid was not something that one could talk about with colleagues as the war was very intense. Loss of life caused traumatic experiences as soldiers often lost their colleagues in the line of fire. When narrating of their experiences during the war, most veterans speak of corpses lying everywhere. According to Donald Fraser, “one could not dig anywhere without coming across a human corpse” (Reginald 114). Therefore, the soldiers had to deal with constant loss of life. August Hope reminisces of how...

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