Different and changed perspectives on war

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  • Created on: 25-03-20 17:24
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  • Different & Changing perspectives on War.
    • Pre-1914 Perspective
      • Realism
        • Though the general consensous was a view of patriotism and heroism about death and war there were poets who whilst still expressing this questioned the cost of these heroic wars
          • This questioning of the cost of war is similar to WWI poets like Sassoons and their cynicism towards the motivations behind war.
          • 'Balls Bluff', Herman Melville (1866)
            • "Far footfalls died away till none were left"
              • Melville expresses the same heroism of many other poems of the time including 'The Charge of the light brigade' however this is juxtaposed with the sadness and grief of loss.
            • "'were rich with ladies cheering royally'
              • Melville expresses the same heroism of many other poems of the time including 'The Charge of the light brigade' however this is juxtaposed with the sadness and grief of loss.
      • Idealised
        • During the Victorian and Edwardian periods war and its heroism, as well as patriotism, was thought to be a virtuous trait.
          • 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', Lord Tennyson (1854)
            • "Honour the charge they made!  Honour the light brigade"
            • The poem, like many other poems of the time, expressed societies views on war - stoicism and patriotism despite the possibility and occurrence of defeat.
    • 1914 - 1918
      • Realism & Protest
        • throughout this time soldiers and war poets were unified by their shared trauma during the war, most poets becoming supportive to each other both professionally and personally.
          • As shared experiences of pain and as witnesses of others pain many poets and soldiers became cynical towards the motivations behind war and whether the cost they were paying was too much.
            • Siegfried Sassoon
              • Sassoon was popularly against the continuation of war especially after writing 'Finished with the War: A Soldiers Declaration'.
                • In his declaration Sassoon states a bitterness towards those with power and also the 'complacent' people of the home front. Emphasising that the homefront 'the continuance of agonies which they do not share, and which they have not sufficient imagination to realize.
      • Critic of War poetry
        • Although Sassoon, Edmund Blunden and Cecil-Day Lewis and Edith Sitwell all published three editions of Owens poetry believing it was the most authentic expression of war some did not agree with owens poetry at all
          • other writers like W B Yeats believed that war should not be a topic of poetry, also believing poets who us war as its topic as using the suffering of others to gain reputation through their writing calling it 'passive suffering'.
            • however, it can be argued that this 'passive suffering' is not passive because during war soldiers found a sort of comradery beyond bonds that could be made in peace times therefore sharing suffering between each other.
    • Aftermath & Memorialisation
      • war had started being memorialised in the very beginning of waar when people on the homefront wanted to keep the men who were dying memorialised for the patriotic sacrifices they were making for society
        • Poet Philip johsntone envisaged  the idea of battle fields becoming tourist attractions in his poem 'High Wood;.
      • The men were most obviously memorialiased by graves that remain on or near battle fields even including graves for the unidentified soldiers who fought. An example being Tyne Cot, Belgium
        • these large scale monuments of memorialisation are considered crucial the process of reflection and remembrance due to the large size of most memorials and monuments it emphasised both the importance and significance of the men who died as well as the triumphant victory of WWI which is ironic considering how many deaths occurred, was it really a victory?
    • Homosexuality during war
      • Until 1861 it was punishable by death to be gay and so in the years after, men were more inclined to hide their homosecuality from their families in aims of living a 'normal' life.
        • However there was still a network of writers and poets who realted to eachother in their 'situations' especially during the war were masculinity was a virtuous thing
          • people like edward marsh, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred owen and Robert ross were all connected through this similarity which arguably made them more supportive of one another becoming some of the most recognised men of the period.
    • 20th - 21st century
      • as war became viewed as a waste of talent and life many works expressing the thoughts and experiences of those who couldn't express it were released
        • this included famous works like: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, Regeneration by Pat Barker and Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks,


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