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    Literature II

    [- WAR POETS- ]

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    At the turn of the 20th century, the nations of Europe had been largely at peace

    with one another for nearly 30 years. While peace and harmony characterized much of

    Europe at the beginning of 1 00s, there were less !isible at wor" as well. #elow the

    surface of peace and goodwill, Europe witness se!eral gradual de!elopments that would

    ultimately help propel the continent into war.

    W$%&' WA% () *A+ E

    -(''E *A+ E

    The rise of nationalism: by the turn of 20 th century, a fierce ri!alry had de!eloped

    among Europe/s great powers. hose nations were ermany, Austria)-ungary, reat

    #ritain, %ussia, (taly and rance.

    his increasing ri!alry among European nations stemmed for se!eral sources

    competition for materials and mar"et, territorial disputes, competition for military power

    and dominance, etc. #esides this, much of the origin of the war was based on the desire

    of the la!ic peoples in #osnia and -erzego!ina to no longer be part of Austria -ungary

    but instead be part of erbia. (n this way, nationalism led directly to the War.

    Imperialism: ( (mperialism is when a country increases their power and wealth by

    bringing additional territories under their control4. With the rise of industrialism countries

    needed new mar"ets.#y 1 00 the #ritish Empire e5tended o!er fi!e continents and

    rance had control of large areas of Africa. #efore World War 1, Africa and parts of Asia

    were points of contention amongst the European countries. his was especially true

    because of the raw materials these areas could pro!ide. he amount of lands 6owned6 by

    #ritain and rance increased the ri!alry with ermany who had entered the scramble to

    ac7uire colonies late and only had small areas of Africa.

    Militarism: As the world entered the 20th century, an arms race had begun. #y 1 18,

    ermany had the greatest increase in military buildup. reat #ritain and ermany both

    significantly increased their na!ies in this time period. urther, in ermany and %ussia

    particularly, the military establishment began to ha!e a larger influence on public policy.

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    Alliances A number of alliances had been signed by countries between the years 19:

    and 1 18. hese were important because they meant that some countries had no option

    but to declare war if one of their allies declared war first.


    The Dual Alliance

    Germany and Austria-

    Hun ary made an

    alliance to protect

    themsel!es from "ussia


    %ranco-"ussian Alliance

    "ussia formed an

    alliance &ith %rance to

    protect herself a ainst

    Germany and Austria-

    Hun ary

    #9'7Triple ntente

    This &as made )et&een

    "ussia* %rance and

    +ritain to counter the

    increasin threat from



    Austro- er)ian Alliance

    Austria-Hun ary made an

    alliance &ith er)ia to stop

    "ussia ainin control of



    ntente .ordiale

    This &as an a reement*

    )ut not a formal alliance*

    )et&een %rance and


    #9#$Triple ntente (no separate


    +ritain* "ussia and %rance

    a reed not to si n for

    peace separately,


    The Triple Alliance

    Germany and Austria-

    Hun ary made an

    alliance &ith Italy to stop

    Italy from ta1in sides

    &ith "ussia


    An lo-"ussian ntente

    This &as an a reement

    )et&een +ritain and


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    .risis in the +al1ans: ;#al"an peninsula))) a mountainous peninsula in the southeastern

    corner of Europe4 by early 1 00s the $ttoman Empire, which included the #al"an region

    was in rapid decline. While some #al"an groups struggle to free themsel!es from the

    $ttoman ur"s, others already succeed in brea"ing away from their ur"ish rulers. erbia

    had a large la!ic population, and was supported by %ussia. Austria) hungary opposed to

    erbia and feared that efforts to create a la!ic state would stir rebellion among its la!ic

    population. (n 1 09, Austria anne5ed boznia and -erzego!ina. (n the following years,

    tension between erbia and Austria steadily rose.


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    2ar in the air: Early in the war, military strategists realized that aircraft could be !ery

    useful forspying on enemy troop mo!ements. hus, the reconnaissance plane was born?

    a tool that all sides in the war used to !arying degrees. hese aircraft typically carried a

    pilot and an obser!er with a camera, who would photograph troop positions on the

    ground. he use of aircraft for reconnaissance grew rapidly during the first few months of

    the war and played an increasingly crucial role in achie!ing !ictories. uch aircraft

    pro!ed !ital to the #ritish and rench forces during the #attle of

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    2ar in the sea: ermany deployed +)boats ;submarines 4 after the war began.

    Alternating between restricted and unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic,

    the Caiserliche

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    Austria)-ungary and ermany in 1 19, and in ur"ey in 1 22. (t contributed to the

    #olshe!i" rise to power in %ussia in 1 1: and the triumph of fascism in (taly in 1 22. (t

    ignited colonial re!olts in the

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    erman troops. he war left a legacy of bitterness that contributed to World War ((

    twenty)one years later.



    War poets is a term referring primarily to the soldierJpoets who fought in the irst World

    War, of whom many died in combat. he best)"nown are #lundeb, #roo"e,

    ra!es,$wen, %osemberg, -amilton, homas, and assoon.

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    eorgian imagination rested came to appear unreal. he patriotism for the country

    reflected in poets and soldiers of the beginning of the century became a ridiculous

    anachronism in the face of the realities of trench warfare. his is the case of the

    antagonism presented by the two war poets %upert #roo"e, who wrote a patriotic sonnet

    reflecting soldiers/ glory of fighting for England, in contrast to iegfried assoon/s

    sa!age ironies which portraits the real atrocities of the war.


    eminism (n the 1 th and 20th centuries feminism mo!ement won the womenMs

    suffrage, educationMs rights, and better wor"ing conditions. 'uring World War ( most

    feminist were anti)war, and most anti)feminist were pro)war. =ane Addams and *arrie*hapman founded the WomenMs eace arty.

    African Americans hey were actually allowed to ser!e in the militaryH howe!er they

    were treated a lot worse than the other soldiers. ati!e Americans although they were not allowed to be in the war, a lot of ati!e

    Americans enlisted. Appro5imately 10000 ati!e Americans ended up ser!ing in the war. Education World War ( altered education in the +nited tates through curriculum

    changes with go!ernment pamphlets and re7uired patriotism sessions. trong focus on

    nationalism and patriotism. atriotic and pro)war lessons were instituted in publicschools. ome children lost the opportunity to education.

    *hanges in social class middle class become officers on the front lines. Wor"ing class

    became foot soldiers. 'ifferent social classes were seen as e7uals. *ross)cultural e5change two or more cultures e5changed ideas, art, weapons, science

    and politics. 'uring WW1, globalization greatly fell ships used for transporting goods

    were often sun" by erman submarines. (nternational trade, migration, and in!estment all

    collapsed. *ultural e5change was almost none5istent with the lac" of open trade between



    (t begins with the irst World War. (t is named for eorge L, although he reigned

    from 1 10 to 1 3D. he war effected a fundamental change in English life and thought, a

    true start of a new age, mar"ed by a long and bitter struggle for national sur!i!al, by a

    flowering of aesthetic talent and e5periment in the 1 20s, and by the harshness of thereat 'epression in the 1 30s. (n 1 80 England had become once more an embattled

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    fortress, destined to suffer si5 years of harsh attac" and the destruction of much of its

    finest talent.

    (t was a rich period for the no!el. he Edwardians alsworthy, Wells, #ennett,

    and *onrad continued to do fine wor", and in the 1 20s e5perimental fiction was

    triumphantly de!eloped by 'orothy %ichardson, Lirginia Woolf, and =ames =oyce. (n the

    1 30s Aldous -u5ley, E!elyn Waugh, and raham reene >oined

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    (E %(E ' A $$

    ;199D)1 D:4

    #($ %A -G

    iegfried assoon was born in 199D in Cent. -e was an English poet, writer, and

    soldier. -is father was part of a =ewish merchant family, originally from (ran and (ndia,

    and his mother part of the artistic horneycroft family. assoon studied at *ambridge

    +ni!ersity but left without a degree. -e then li!ed the life of a country gentleman,

    hunting and playing cric"et while also publishing small !olumes of poetry. (n 1 1B,

    assoon was commissioned into the %oyal Welsh usiliers and went to rance. -e

    impressed many with his bra!ery in the front line and was gi!en the nic"name 6

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    (n 1 B: assoon became a con!ert to *atholicism, though for some time before his

    con!ersion, his spiritual concerns had been the predominant sub>ect of his writing. hese

    later religious poems are usually considered mar"edly inferior to those written between

    1 1: and 1 20. Get SEQUENCES ;published shortly before his con!ersion4 has been

    praised by some critics.


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    others, ali!e with acti!ity and hunger, Ncome in from huntingP o gobble their muffins and


    he sarcasm becomes e!en more prominent in the second stanza as the poet as"s if it

    matters if the soldier loses his eyes when N here is such splendid ;ironic word4 for the

    blindHPAnd people will always be "ind ;also ironic4.N hen, the acridness of assoon6s

    sarcasm becomes apparent as he creates the metaphor in which the maimed soldier is

    compared to ha!ing been reduced to plant)life

    As you sit on the terrace rememberingPAnd turning your face to the light.

    *ontinuing his !erse, the poet pointedly as"s,

    'o they matter, those dreams in the pitOPGou can drin" and forget and be glad,PAnd

    people won6t say that you6re madH

    With the loss of part of his humanity, the soldier can no longer dream of the future. (n

    despair, he will drin" and lull himself into a state of nothingness, a state in which no one

    will accuse him of irrational anger towards war

    or they "now that you6!e fought for your countryPAnd no one will worry a bit

    $f course, in these last two lines there is bitter irony as assoon poses the true

    irrationality eople belie!e that glorious war warrants any sacrifice. -owe!er, the

    poet6s rhetorical 7uestion leads the reader to conclude that &ar is in lorious

    (TH M / and it is not &orth the sacrifice of life or of one5s essence,

    .6 . I6

    iegfried assoon is best remembered for his angry and compassionate poems of the irst

    World War, which brought him public and critical acclaim. A!oiding the sentimentality

    and >ingoism of many war poets, assoon wrote of the horror and brutality of trench

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    warfare and contemptuously satirized generals, politicians, and churchmen for their

    incompetence and blind support of the war



    he English poet %upert *hawner #roo"e was born in199:. he son of the %ugbychool/s housemaster, #roo"e e5celled in both academics and athletics. -e entered hisfather/s school at the age of fourteen. A lo!er of !erse since the age of nine, he won theschool poetry prize in 1 0B.-e attended Cing/s *ollege, *ambridge, where he was"nown for his stri"ing good loo"s, charm, and intellect. While at *ambridge, hede!eloped an interest in acting and was president of the +ni!ersity abianociety. #roo"e published his first poems in 1 0 H his first boo", Poems , appeared in1 11. While wor"ing on his dissertation on =ohn Webster and Elizabethan dramatists, heli!ed in the house that he made famous by his poem Q he $ld Licarage,rantchester.R opular in both literary and political circles, he befriended Winston*hurchill, -enry =ames, and members of the #loomsbury roup, including LirginiaWoolf. (n 1 12, #roo"e left England to tra!el in rance and ermany for se!eral months.

    +pon his return to England, #roo"e recei!ed a fellowship at Cing/s *ollege and spent

    time in both *ambridge and &ondon. (n 1 12 he compiled an anthologyentitled Georgian Poe r!" #$##-#% , with Edward ects such as friendship and lo!e. While

    critics !iewed #roo"e/s poetry as too sentimental and lac"ing depth, they also considered

    his wor" a reflection of the mood in England during the years leading up to World War

    (.After e5periencing a mental brea"down in 1 13, #roo"e tra!eled again, spending

    se!eral months in America, *anada, and the outh eas. 'uring his trip, he wrote essays

    about his impressions for the Wes mins er Ga&e e , which were collected in 'e ers From

    Ameri(a ;1 1D4. While in the outh eas, he wrote some of his best poems, includingQ iare ahitiR and Q he reat &o!er.R-e returned to England at the outbrea" of World

    War ( and enlisted in the %oyal a!al 'i!ision. -is most famous wor", the sonnet

    se7uence #$#) an* O +er Poems , appeared in 1 1B. (n1 1B, after ta"ing part in the

    Antwerp E5pedition, he died of blood poisoning from a mos7uito bite while en route to

    allipoli with the a!y. -e was buried on the island of "yros in the Aegean ea.

    ollowing his death, #roo"e, who was already famous, became a symbol in England of

    the tragic loss of talented youth ;#roo"e, aged 2:4during the war.

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    , ooms/0r! Gro012 3as an in4 0en ia gro01 o4 asso(ia e* Eng is+ 3ri ers"

    in e e( 0a s" 1+i oso1+ers an* ar is s" +e /es 5no3n mem/ers o4 3+i(+ in( 0*e*

    6irginia Woo 4" Ke!nes"Fors er" an* S ra(+e!. T+is oose (o e( i7e o4 4rien*s an*

    re a i7es i7e*" 3or5e* or s 0*ie* oge +er near ooms/0r!"'on*on" *0ring +e 4irs +a 4

    o4 +e %8 + (en 0r!. T+e! 3ere 0ni e* /! an a/i*ing /e ie4 in +e im1or an(e o4 +e

    ar s9.T+eir 3or5s an* o0 oo5 *ee1 ! in4 0en(e* i era 0re" aes +e i(s" (ri i(ism" an*

    e(onomi(s as 3e as mo*ern a i 0*es o3ar*s 4eminism" 1a(i4ism" an* se:0a i !.

    (AIN WOR'S


    oems ;1 114

    eorgian oetry, 1 11)1 12 ;1 124

    1 18, and $ther oems ;1 1B4

    he *ollected oems of %upert #roo"e ;1 1B4

    he *ollected oems of %upert #roo"e ;1 194

    he oetical Wor"s of %upert #roo"e ;1 8D4


    &ithuania A 'rama in $ne Act ;1 1B4

    =ohn Webster and the Elizabethan 'rama ;1 1D4

    &etters rom America ;1 1D4

    'emocracy and the Arts ;1 8D4

    he rose of %upert #roo"e ;1 BD4

    he &etters of %upert #roo"e ;1 D94

    %upert #roo"e A %eappraisal and election rom -is Writings, ome -itherto

    +npublished ;1 :14

    &etters rom %upert #roo"e to -is ublisher, 1 11)1 18;1 :B4



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    represents the patriotic ideals that characterized pre)war England. (t portrays death for

    one/s country as a noble end and England as the noblest country for which to die.

    *oncepts to ta"e into account

    onnet: it is fourteen lines in length, and it almost always is iambic pentameter, but in structureand rhyme scheme may be considerable leewayItalian sonnet: it is di!ided usually between eight lines octa!e- using two rimes arranged a a b

    b a a b b a, and si5 lines -sestet- using any arrangement of either two of three rhymes c d c d c d

    and c d e c d e are common patternn lish sonnet: is composed of three 7uatrains and concluding cuplets riming a b a b c d c d e f

    e f g gIam)ic pentameter: e!ery line of iambic pentameter contains fi!e iambs . ow, an iamb is

    a two)syllable pair that consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

    Eg. T+a is 4ore7er Eng an*. T+ere s+a /e ;e:(e1 ion in ine

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    When you start a poem with N(f ( should die,N then you6re already confronting a cold, hard

    truth that most people would rather not thin" about. As a solider, though, the spea"er is

    thrust face)to)face with his own mortality, and so this poem is his way of wor"ing

    through that imminent possibility. ;-istorically, for #roo"e, that possibility became a sad

    reality when he went off to war and died of infection not long after this poem was

    written.4 o we feel that we must gi!e the spea"er props for dealing with reality, rather

    than ignoring it.

    -E ( 'EA&(

    $f course, the WAG that the spea"er deals with the threat of death is hardly realistic. -e

    imagines a "ind of hea!en that will be >ust the li"e home, full of the same thoughts,

    sights, sounds, and e!en dreams of his nati!e land. ow, you could say that this ma"es

    our spea"er a real patriot, but you could also ma"e the case that he6s sort of deluding

    himself. ure, it6d be nice to imagine hea!en as a place ESA* &G li"e your fa!orite

    place, but thin" about that for a second. (sn6t doing so >ust imagining that you6re current

    e5periences will go on fore!er, despite deathO (sn6t this >ust an elaborate form of denial,

    thenO -e couldnMt witness the atrocities of war.

    -E A %($

    Another way to read the spea"er6s NEnglish hea!en,N though, is >ust to see it as a natural

    e5tension of his lo!e of country. -e celebrates his upbringing there, promises to claim

    more land for it in the war, and portrays hea!en as nothing more than an e5tension of

    England. (n other words, he6s saying that England will go on fore!er?both in terms of

    earthly con7uest, and in terms of hea!enly immortality.

    his patriotism, then, is part of what ultimately blinds the spea"er to the !ery real,impending horror of World War (. -is spea"er is a great e5ample of the "ind of naT!e,

    o!erly)romantic, and >ingoistic thin"ing that could send millions of people into armed

    conflict against each other.

    E (

    rom the spea"er6s past, England in a foreign field, hec"?e!en England up in hea!enU o matter

    where the spea"er6s mind roams ;because the poem literally ta"es place in his mind4, it always

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    &ine 2 he spea"er imagines ac7uiring a Ncorner of a foreign fieldN for his home country,

    England. ature is endowed with English)ness here, as it will be again soon.

    &ine 8 in +a ri(+ ear + a ri(+er *0s (on(ea e*? ;imagery of the country4

    &ine D ga7e on(e" +er 4 o3ers o o7e" +er 3a!s o roam?


    ersonification consist in gi!ing attributes of a human being to an animal, an ob>ect or an


    Eg. &ine B he spea"er is a Ndust whom England bore, shaped, made aware.N England

    can6t really do these things, so this is a case of personification.

    &ine D England ga!e the spea"er Nflowers to lo!eN and Nways to roam.N England can6t

    actually gi!e anything, so this is an e5ample of personification .

    &ine 9 he spea"er was NwashedN by England6s ri!ers, and NblestN by her suns. either

    the suns nor the ri!ers can wash or bless, so this is also personification.

    "eli ious connotations

    Eg &ine 9 he soldier also has a sense of beauty of his country that is in fact a part of his

    identity. (n the final line of the first stanza, nature ta"es on a religious significance for the spea"er.

    -e is Qwashed by the ri!ersR, suggesting the purification of baptism, and Qblest by the sun of


    E*$ ' A @A ) A A&G (

    "eli ious connotation- .hristian point of !ie&

    (n the second stanza, the sestet, the physical is left behind in fa!or of the spiritual. (f the

    first stanza is about the soldier/s thought of this world and England, the second is about

    his thoughts of hea!en and England ;in fact, an English hea!en4.

    (n the sestet, the soldier goes on to tell the listener what to thin" of him if he dies at war, but he

    presents a more imaginati!e picture of himself. -e forgets the gra!e in the foreign country where

    he might die, and he begins to tal" about how he will ha!e transformed into an eternal spirit. his

    means that to die for England is the surest way to get a sal!ation as implied in the last line, he

    e!en thin"s that he will become a part of an English hea!en.

    he heart will be transformed by death. &ine A ear + ! @e7i 3i /e s+e* a3a! . ;a

    *hristian !iew4. $nce the spea"er has died, his soul will gi!e bac" to England e!erything

    England has gi!en to him) in other words, e!erything that the spea"er has become. (n the

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    sestet England ta"es on the role of a hea!enly creator, a part of the Qeternal mindR of

    od. (n this way, dying for England gains the status of religious sal!ation. Where!er he

    dies, his death for England will be a sal!ation of his soul. (t is therefore the most

    desirable of all fates.

    3ersonification: eg)

    line 11 gi7es some3+ere /a(5 +e +o0g+ s /! Eng an* gi7en

    line 12 2+e sig+ s an* so0n*s? *reams +a11! as +er *a!?

    ima ery: eg)

    &ine 10 he spea"er describes a Npulse in the eternal mind.N he Neternal mindN refers to

    od6s mind ;eternal here means that it has ne!er been created and will ne!er die4. od, of

    course, li!es in hea!en, which is described as being >ust li"e England.

    &ine 18 the spea"er describes an NEnglish hea!enN in the last si5 lines of the poem.

    Alliteration: eg) &ine 12 gi!es us Nsights and sounds,N line 13 has Nlaughter, learnt,N and

    line 18 ends with NheartsN and Nhea!en.N

    $ -E% *-A%A* E%( (* $ *$ ('E%

    %E)WA% ('EA&(