Siegfried Sassoon - Suicide in the Trenches

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Suicide in the trenches
Title and Author:
“Suicide in the Trenches” is a poem written by Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon wrote this poem during his First World War military service and published in his 1918 collection: “Counter-Attack and Other Poems”

Form and style
This poem is a lyric which contains of three stanzas each containing four lines. This is written in rhyming couplets, the style of the poem seems very simple and song-like War is destructive of youth and innocence. There is a change in mood where the first stanza talks about the despair when he is in the trenches. In the third stanza we move to the poet’s anger about the way that people at home feel Each stanza has four lines with a pattern of a-a-b-b-c-c-d-d-e-e-f-f. Main Themes, ideas and perspectives about war:

This poem talks about the survival of a young soldier who survived, addressing to the people left at home of all the hardships that they go through in the trenches. These demonstrate:
* Destructive effects of the war.
* Anger at the glorification of war
* Disillusionment
* The corruption of innocence
* Wastefulness of the war: futility
* Evil tramping over good

Structural features and effects
* The poem is separated into three stanzas which have four lines each. The verses rhyme with the next in pairs of two (a-a-b-b, c-c-d-d, e-e-f-f) and all the verses have eight syllables. * Each verse has a different tone

* Description of the ‘soldier boy’ which makes us compassionate and give more concern * The poet criticizes the attitudes of people towards war when they know nothing about the reality of war. The poet wants the reader to feel guilty.

Language, Tone and Vocabulary
* In this poem the poet uses adjectives creating an interesting feeling and he creates the horror of the battlefields. * Sassoon conveys his feelings and concerns towards the ‘soldier boy’ who has lost his innocence because of the war and he also shows his anger for the...
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