WWI Poetry Analysis

WWI Poetry Analysis - Chris Kokkinis English 345: WWI...

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Chris Kokkinis English 345: WWI Literature November 14, 2006 Truth Versus Splendor: The Poetry of World War I There is a very classical projection of war that the public would often, up until recent times, receive through Hollywood, the media, and popular literature. The image that those on the home front often see is the sort of thing that can be used as nationalistic propaganda. It is a sort of glorification of what it is to fight and even die on the fields of war. However during World War I, there was a rise in literature and poetry that showed a very different side of war. Poets like Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen took this approach, depicting the very horrors of trench life that those at home could not imagine. The typical look that the general public got of the war before World War I could be seen in the works of Rupert Brooke, such as his “The Soldier”, first published in the New York Times in 1915. Because it was written before he reached the front, Brooke’s outlook of the war comes across with a tone of pride and anticipatory of heroism. It can be seen as perhaps his last living testament, telling those back home that if he dies, he is forever grateful to his country for making him the man, and the soldier, that he is. He is very happy to be “A body of England's, breathing English air/ Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.” Proud of his heritage, he has no fear of making some far-off battlefield “richer” by baptizing it with the blood of England. Brooke’s depiction of war in such a way could be due to the fact that he died in
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This essay was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course ENG 345 taught by Professor Hubbard during the Fall '08 term at SUNY Buffalo.

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WWI Poetry Analysis - Chris Kokkinis English 345: WWI...

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