The Comparison Of Prewar And Postwar Ideas Of War And Their Reflection In Literature

1179 words - 5 pages

The World War One, also known as the Great War, escalated in 1914 by the assassination of Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo and lasted till 1918. One hundred thirty-five countries participated in the war and, by doing so, they have left over fifteen million bodies behind them. The World War One can be seen as a milestone after which the people’s perspectives were changed. The losses of many lives, global proportions of the war, modern ways of fighting, and terror have made people to look at war, not as a way of becoming immortal, but as an event that destroys our dignity and humanity. The changes in perspectives, how people perceived war also took place in literature. From the ...view middle of the document...

Instead of fame and glory, all they got was death under the most terrifying circumstances. These realizations were transferred on papers and they have marked The World War One poetry.
“The Soldier’’ is a poem written by Rupert Brooke. Rupert Brooke is a British poet who participated in the Great War, but died at the early stage of it. In addition to that, his poem “The Soldier’’ is idealistic and permeated with the traditional idea of war. Brooke in the first stanza states that he owns his life to England, because England has “shaped [him], made aware, / Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam’’ (5-6). He is happy for the fact that once he dies it will be a growth of his country. His body, which is given and formed by England, when decomposes will forever stay in the place where he was killed, therefore “some corner of a foreign field’’ will be hers (2). Brooke begins second stanza with the idea that all his sins will be gone, “all evil shed away’’ (9). The killings he has made in the war will not count, because he did them for his country. He believes that the war has a bigger purpose, that it is not just about power, money, and influence, but about pride and glory, about giving an honor to your country and thanking her for raising you. That idea corresponds to traditional, prewar idea of war.
“Dulce et Decorum Est’’ is a poem written by Wilfred Owen. Wilfred Owen is also a British poet who participated in the war, but has experienced many horrors. He was even “eventually diagnosed as suffering from neurasthenia’’ (Bloom 12). The title of the poem is a part of the Latin proverb that goes dulce et decorum est pro patria mori and even at the very beginning, in the title that is ironically written, it is expressed Owen’s attitude toward war. In the first stanza we can read and feel the emotions of exhaustion, loneliness, silence, and psychological tiredness of the soldiers:
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. (Owen 5-8)
In the second stanza there is the rush. The scene, describing the...

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