The Beauty of World War I Poems

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In the WWI poems “Suicide in the trenches” by Siegfried Sassoon and “The Leveller” by Robert Graves, an important idea that is conveyed in both poems is that war is not beautiful. It is an end to humanity and war itself is destruction. Sassoon uses imagery and emotive words to show us the true horror of war and Graves uses metaphors and similes to highlight the idea that there is no glory in dying and that those back home have been misled about the death of the soldiers. In Siegfried Sassoon’s Suicide in the Trenches poem, he highlights the idea of some of the youngsters that enlisted in the army, had no aspirations for the future and thought it was a good option to go to war and come back; they thought that there was a good range in the army. Unfortunately, they were deceived by the propaganda of the war, a very influencing form of communication that is aimed at a community like the soldiers or their families back home. An example is a recruiting poster. Sassoon uses imagery such as, ‘he put a bullet through his brain’, to evoke an image of a young man in utter despair. It forces us to consider the way the soldiers and not just the young man on how they were terribly treated in the trenches with rats, the size of cats and other filthy pests living with them. These conditions seemed to encourage them to commit suicide at an early age knew that they had that they have no other options left, hence the title ‘Suicide in the Trenches’. This is important because Sassoon directs us to the idea of propaganda that made the young recruits join the war. Another technique Sassoon used was emotive words to illustrate the living conditions of the soldiers. For example “cowed and glum” It precisely describes the trenches where the soldiers stayed. The words “cowed and glum” means dispirit and sullen and it basically shows us that the young man, unable to find solace in the trenches, is unhappy and desperate. This is important because Sassoon criticizes the unhygienic...
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