War Poetry

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To what extent does the poetry of war dispel the myths associated with the war propaganda of World War I? Throughout the early 1900’s the war propaganda that was published to entice young men to enlist and join the war gave them false ideas about the front line. Young men and boys were told that war was one big adventure and encouraged to go to the great war and become a hero. Young men were fooled into believing that dying for your country was sweet and honourable however three men who fought in the war and experienced the front line drew from their personal knowledge to completely dispel these myths. Vernon Scannell, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfrid Owen suffered throughout the war and wrote the poems The Great War, Suicide in the Trenches and Dulce et Decorum Est to inform the people at home about the cruel realities of war with their attention to sensory detail and vivid imagery so that the audience may be as close to experiencing the war for themselves. The myth that war was in fact great and that men should be happy to serve for the greater good was obliterated by Vernon Scannell’s poem ‘The Great War’. Scannell’s use of imagery to create a dark atmosphere supports his views that war was not in fact great but a play on the word. The myth, like many others was created to keep men enlisting; therefore fuelling the blood bath that was World War I. Scannell himself wasn’t involved in the First World War but in the Second. Scannell does not tell the audience about a particular event, he instead draws from his memory to create vivid imagery to transport the audience to the war at night “where iron brambles writhe” (Line 10) and “Flares that define the corpses on the wire” (Line 13). Scannell uses a sad yet sombre tone whilst he describes the horrible images that he remembers from war himself; combined with the dark, terrifying atmosphere of war the mood is depressing. Scannell states the facts about war and uses a pun as the title describing the war as ‘great’ yet...
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