Examine how some propaganda poets in the early stages of the world war one, tried to encourage young men to enlist.
During the early stages of world war one; before conscription was introduced in 1916, young men were pressured/persuaded into joining the army on their own behalf. This was not an easy task for the men to do themselves, and signing up would not have been successful without the aid of Propaganda poems, posters, leaflets and many more recruitment documents for the public eye. Recruitment/propaganda poems were the most popular way to get young men to enlist, and thus meant they were very effective. One of the most popular propaganda poems is ‘Fall In’ written by Harold Begbie which appeared in the Daily Chronicle on 31 Aug 1914. In this poem, Begbie uses many clever, sneaky tricks to mock the young men into enlisting. The poem itself is about the pressure that was placed on men, as society saw going to war as ‘the norm’, as well as self-image for the men being judged by the public. Begbie targets his poem at the non-conformists and suggests throughout the poem that those whom do not enlist will be mocked, ashamed and regretful. The poem has four stanzas, with rhyming couplets of ABAB. Each of the stanzas are aimed to make the men think about each perspective of every person they may have in their life. Cleverly, the first stanza is used to make men think about how the women are going to react when all the men who enlisted come back, making them question whether the girls will walk by them, or run up to them with proud nourishment and honour. Begbie writes ‘what will you lack sonny when the girls line up the street/shouting their love to the lads come back’ which encourages the men to join because they don’t want to be the only men without girls grateful of them, they will lack something all the soldiers didn’t – therefore explaining that some men joined in an attempt to get girls. In the second stanza, it is about what their children will think...
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