In essence, this poem is based around the comparison of war to a sporting game and in lines 1 and 2 we can see this metaphor being created with the words “...the game, the biggest that’s played” and “game of a fight.”. This lighthearted tone continues when Pope utilises the idea linking nature of rhyme to contrast the ‘courageous’ options and the ‘cowardly’ options, as can be seen in lines 2 and 4. After reading these lines, it is clear to the reader that Pope has represented war as a game noble and glorious.
On line 11 Pope suggests that the worst thing that could happen to a soldier is to return home on crutches - not death - and on lines 7 and 8 Pope asks every young man if they want to take part in the “show” of war or if they want to just sit in the “stands”. These 3 lines make evident the crux of the second side to Pope’s representation. In saying that the worst thing that could possibly happen to a soldier is coming home on crutches, Pope has represented war as not only noble and glorious - but harmless!
The modern world hadn’t yet experienced war on as large or costly scale as World War 1 and Jessie pope was only one of many poets whose poems are evidence of this fact. Who’s For The Game is a quintessential jingoistic poem of that time - one that represents war as honourable, noble, and ultimately, a glory machine for which to work one must only have the same amount of courage that is needed to play a game of sport.