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    1914 war poem Essay (594 words)

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    Compare and contrast at least one post 1914 war poem with Charge of the Light Brigade by Lord Tennyson, focus on different views of war and how they are conveyed The poems that I will look at are: “Dulce et Decorum Est” by W. Owen and “The charge of the light brigade” by A. Tennyson. These two poems show two completely different views on war, the first is a view showing glory and honour therefore the glory of war and the other view looks at the suffering and dying, basically the reality of war. I will talk about movement, imagery and techniques used by the authors and look at the views the poems have.

    The opening line in “Dulce…” is already a negative one; “Bent double, like old beggars”, as the opening line, this has already created an image in my head as a reader of these soldiers that are tired and not like you would normally imagine a soldier to be like, this is looking into the suffering of the soldiers; you can tell by the language used, “Bent double”. In contrast to this, the first mention of movement in “The Charge…” is one of bravery; “Rode the six hundred… Charge for the guns!” At the mention of “six hundred” you imagine a strong force, full of bravery, charging for the guns, this glorifies war and is straight away a lot different to the other poem.

    Another point showing contrast between the two is here; in “Dulce…” I have taken this quote because it’s another case of the negativity portrayed in movement during this poem; “…rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep” here men are so tired every step is hard and they are so tired they are falling asleep, the reality of war here is conveyed with language like “trudge”, and the poet is putting a big down on way. In “The Charge…” however, the quote shows a completely different view; “Boldly they rode and well,” from this we see brave soldiers riding to war which gives us a positive image again, glorifying war by using words like “Boldly”, you think of soldiers riding without fear which is highly unlikely which makes this poem the opposite to reality.

    The last set of quotes I have chosen show how different these two poems are and how one word can have two completely different meanings depending on what context it’s in. In “Dulce…” this quote is just after a gas bomb has been dropped and one man has not managed to get his mask on; “He plunges at me, guttering, chocking, drowning” here I picture a man reaching out in desperation, about to die which really puts a negative feel on the war using language like “guttering” which means flame going out but I feel it is used here to symbolize life going out.

    From “The Charge…” I’ve taken this; “Plunged in the battery smoke” The word “Plunged” is used completely differently here, instead of someone reaching out is desperation; it’s the army plunging into the smoke with glory and bravery and this word is used to convey a positive image on the war. Already looking at both poems I can already see how different they are; one looks at the war in a negative way, referring to soldiers as beggars, whereas the other looks at the soldiers as brave. The next thing I will look at in these two poems is the imagery used and what the writer does to put images in a readers head. Firstly I have taken this quote from “Dulce…”

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