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How soldiers are presented in World War One poetry

How soldiers are presented in World War One poetry
In this essay, I will discuss how views on war differ. In the poem: ‘The Man He
Killed’, Thomas Hardy questions war and combats the moral issues and ethical
issues to provide a perspective that can be applied to both sides fighting in
WW1. On the other end of the spectrum, in ‘Who’s for the game’ by Jessie
Pope, thoughts of war are generalised and do not question the intentions.
In Thomas Hardy’s poem: ‘The Man He killed’, war is questioned and pondered
upon, “Quaint and curious”. The quote “curious” shows how he constantly
questions the intentions of war – curious meaning they want to learn about
something. “I shot him dead because – Because he was my foe”, this shows
how he is not sure if what he did was right and correct, as he hesitates:
“because – Because”. Also, he concludes that it was because he was his “foe”
that he had to kill them, but the hesitation shows us that he possibly doesn’t
think that he was his enemy, because the only reason why he said this because
this is what he was told by the government.
In ‘Who’s for the game’ by Jessie Pope, the community is encouraged to go to
war. “Eagerly shoulders a gun”, Pope is encouraging the use of weapons, which
are used to inflict death, and yet she never mentions death, because that
would discourage people. Pope dilutes the harsh reality of war, “rather come
back with a crutch”, (“crutch” implying a broken leg) this shows how she
dilutes warfare because the soldiers who went out to war often did not come
back or came back with something worse than a simple broken leg.
Throughout the poem Pope asks questions to the reader starting with
“Who’ll”, and repeats them constantly to give the reader a sense of purpose