AS level english literature WW1 wider reading quotations from Birdsong

Wider reading quotes from birdsong for as english literature WW1. I have written links that could be made to some quotes and a few descriptions surrounding the quotes. I hope you find this helpful.

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Birdsong Quotes
Stephen: "This is not a war, this is an exploration of how far men can be degraded"
Can link to Sassoons declaration and anything to do with the war being prolonged
"Where did you find this faint heart, Gray?" Shows some higher ranks attitudes towards
the war. Can be linked to Journey's End where the colonel sends them to do a raid in the
daylight. Or to the attitudes shown in Base Details by Siegfried Sassoon
After Weir's death, Stephen "felt more lonely than ever in his life before". {385} .
When Jack is dying in the hole with Stephen he loses all hope. He has reasons for wanting to
die, which are all the result of different losses; "That day you attacked...the padre...tore off his
cross. My boy, gone. What a world we made for him. I'm glad he's dead" {471}
When it is the Battle of the Somme. Jack, Horrocks and Shaw are watching from a hill and
Horrocks the padre (military chaplain) loses his faith... "Horrocks pulled the silver cross from his
chest and hurled it from him...Jack knew what had died in him" {230} This is significant because
it shows someone who was extremely religious losing his faith so suddenly (moments before he had
been praying). Suggests how horrifying the war was. He is pulling the necklace from his chest as well
which gives the idea of his faith being close to his heart, more personal and intimate than his cross
being `around his neck' for example.
"Weir doesn't believe in anything. He needs something to sustain him." That's
Stephen's explanation for the use of the cards.
Stephen doesn't love England at the start of the war "The sight of his homeland had not
brought any feeling of affection or deep welcome" but he still fights for England as oppose to
France which he could have done quite easily.
Stephen tells Ellis and Weir when he is drunk that "If I am fighting on behalf of anyone, I think it
is for those who have died. Not for the living at home." {295}
When Stephen embraces the German whose brother he killed at the end. "Levi looked at...
his brother's killer...the two men fell upon each other's shoulders, weeping at the bitter
strangeness of their human lives"{483}
Also when it is the Battle of the Somme and Stephen is in the river with lots of Germans.
"Close to...he saw men like himself...Stephen tried to hate them now as he had hated them
before." {234}
During the battle of the Somme, "within two hours they had blown Byrne's head, bit by
bit, off his body so that only a hole remained between his shoulders." {233}

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The little boy with the burns all over his body, "arched his body away from the contact of
the sheet. Eventually the doctor lost patience and forced him down with hands on his
chest." {186} War has turned even those who are supposed to be the most caring of people
(doctors) into being capable of inhumane things.
"when in doubt you go forward!" A man's mental deterioration is shown when he is
rocking himself back and forward repeating these words after the advance.…read more


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