This is no case of petty right or wrong' is a complex poem about war and Thomas' decision making. We notice that Thomas is contemplating on going to fight at this time which evidently comes out in this poem. The poem was written in the December of 1915 when there was a sensitive climate within the country over the war; people with foreign names were even persecuted. Thomas thought his farther had jingoistic views which caused a conflict between him and his farther. His farther had a patriotic idea of a rampant theory. Thomas also saw himself as a patriot who is proud of his country and has a love of 'englishness'. This is what we bear in mind when Thomas is contemplating going to fight as we realises in loosing England to the war he will 'lose himself'.
'This is no case of petty right or wrong' has a theme of love, religion, and politics. We understand that Thomas has a predominant love for his country and cannot bare to loose it which is similar to the love of nature in Rupert Brooke's 'The Solider'. In Light of the comment 'in loosing her you will loose yourself' we realise that Thomas' love for his country and the nature of it, as shown in other poems such as 'The Glory' ; is a motif for Thomas to want to fight. Within this poem there are also elements of religion for example references to a 'phoenix' and 'God'.
Thomas typically includes nature in this poem: he suggests that although nature is beautiful; it causes ally of damage. 'The wood' is a prime example of natural imagery Thomas uses. In addition, Thomas portrays an anger and hatred for the 'politicians': 'beside my hate for the politicians, his hatred for Kaiser is true love'. Here Thomas shows the depth of his emotions to people of his own country, he feels like he needs to be saved from patriotism.
Thomas shows a critical view and bitterness for 'politicians and philosophers', the alliteration of 'p' emphasises the bitter context of war within the words. He also discuss' his ' hate for one fat patriot,' this shows Thomas feels strongly about the patriots that sit at home living a life of luxury while young 'lads' are at war. It is hinted that the men signed up to war only 'to please newspapers', therefore suggesting that the men were forced to be patriotic. Thomas states that events 'can rake out of the ashes', this shows he believes that when one conflict ends, another one rises. The reference to 'ashes' is also biblical, the 'phoenix' could represent England being reborn after the war. The idea of Thomas feeling 'dinned' by the war suggests he is deafened by it and is tired of hearing about it. One may suggest that this boredom is a motif for Thomas to join the war.
Whats more, Thomas uses the metaphor 'two witches cauldrons', which is a Shakespearian reference to Macbeth. Furthermore; he uses this metaphor to compare his feelings and define the differentiation between the two. Outside one cauldron, there is his patriotism which goes beyond his hatred, so he loves the English countryside with a weather that 'shall rise clear and gay'. On the other cauldron, there are other traditional patriots which news papers distinguish, who also hate Germans because of the war conflict. These two cauldrons may been seen as two 'petty' views which divide him and he makes clear what is important to him: the mother country survives.
The use of punctuation in the middle of lines help to convey the poets confusion, and that he doesn't know what is 'right or wrong'. Every line starts with a capital letter, which reinforces his anger at the home front. Also, the embjambment 'the wind' is used to create a pause which emphasises Thomas' anger for the patriots. This also shows his confusion of not knowing what to do in his situation. Thomas also uses caesura which represents a shift in Volta in the poem 'and gay;' this symbolises the rebirth of the phoenix.
'This is no case of petty right or wrong' is a continuous piece of text, we can see how Thomas is...
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