Women and the Home Front

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  • Created by: nfawre
  • Created on: 13-05-15 19:20

Drama

Journey's End

  • Hibbert uses women to assert his masculinity-he objectifies women and degrades them "couple of tarts", prop=postcards
  • Absence of women forces of the men in the dugouut to adopt roles commonly associated with women. Osborne acts as the mother "Tuck me up Uncle", Mason cooks etc
  • Stanhope is eager to impress his love interest at home (Madge Raleighs sister). This eagerness becomes paranoia as he wants to prevent Madge from finding out how drastically the war has changed him (psychological effect of war)- he keeps a picture of her in his breat pocket, to remind him of her? home? normality? Raleigh also wants to impress her as his sister-both try to present themselves as heroic to the ones they love whilst hiding the harsh reality of war (like Tipper in letter home before the Somme)
  • Raleighs ignorance towards the realities of war are a reflection on the Home Front-they could not comprehend the harsh brutality. (Weir's parents in Birdsong "we're all doing our bit)

Accrington Pals

  • Bertha works on trams replacing the men-she finds a newfound independence from the war yet she cannot love someone who didn't fight-even for health reasons- common attitude of many. A new inequality was created (emphasised in many poems-war fulfills you)
  • May is able to expand her business because of the lack of men- many women's social position changed in the war
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Prose

Birdsong

  • Michael Weir's parent "We are all doing our bit"- naive understanding of the reality of war and the stark contrast between the Home Front and the Western Front.
  • Prostitute is objectified- Stephen mistreats her, running a knife along her, is this to reaffirm his masculinity/ control over his life (or the lives of others)
  • Isabelle marries a German man going against what is acceptable, she refuses to conform to the idea that all women must be patriotic and naive towards the war.

Regeneration

  • Trauma that often comes after the men have come home. Seeing normality confuses them- how can things appear normal when such horror is going on.
  • Shock to women, seeing men without limbs or affected by the psychological effects of war- Sarah accidentally sees the men who are not meant to be seen- it horrifies her. Propoganda has created misconceptions of war, smothering the reality.
  • Sassoon's declaration- anger towards the home front? "I may help to destroy the callous complacence with which the majority of those at home regard the continuance of agonies which they do not share, and which they have not sufficient imagination to realize."
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Poetry

'Glory of Women'- Siegfried Sassoon

  • extremely accusatory tone throughout, conveys the supposed ignorance of the women at the front.
  • Petrachan sonnet form emphasises sense of irony- the women are sowing their love for the soldiers yet they come across as ingnorant.

'Subalterns'- Elizabeth Daryush

  • Conversational structure contextualises the poem making it more authentic-this was a real view. It illustrates women as 'realistically' innocent and naive.
  • The contrasting lexical choices of hot and cold language convey the contrasting ideas of the two parties.

'Rouen'- May Wedderburn Cannan

  • Uses tone change in last two stanzas-she starts to speak to herself, not the reader-suggests she is reflecting on the war as well as looking at personal opinion.
  • It accepts sorrowing loneliness that war can bring as well as offering a more romantic, proud view. Was this a common view that women upheld?
  • The build up of negative language throughout the poem emphasises the underlying worry and problems that war brings- making soldiers better to send them off to die?
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Poetry

'The Hero'- Siefried Sassoon

  • presents 'typical' patriotic views held by women "weak eyes had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy" However she is obviously trying to supress her feelings because that is what is expected of her- she is just conforming to the expectations of society.
  • Sassoon does not blame her or her son- like declaration blames higher power, however this does not make his poetry any less bitter.
  • Mothers want to see the best and soldiers have seen the worst- contrast.
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