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Title: Dualism in First World War poetry : exploring the pro-war and anti-war debate
Authors: Fenech, Svetlana
Keywords: World War, 1914-1918 -- Great Britain -- Literature and the war
English poetry -- 20th century
War poetry, English
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This dissertation will look at First World War poetry and how poetry can serve different functions, especially in such a time. While some poets use poetry to express their feelings and emotions, others use it as a tool to serve their own ends. Certain poets like Rupert Brooke and Jessie Pope use poetry to express a sense of patriotism and honour. Others like Siegfried Sassoon use verses to express their anger towards society. Wilfred Owen uses poetry to show the pity of war. This dissertation will look at the different ways of how poetry can be used, most specifically as a tool to expose what happens in the trenches and how poetry is used as propaganda. Chapter One will focus on the historical context of war and how war came to be. It will look at the political situations that eventually led to war. It will also look at war poetry as a genre and how war helped to shape the genre. The aspect of art as propaganda will also be looked at in this chapter to show how war poetry is not the only art to be used in this way. Chapter Two will deal with the anti-war poets and how they used poetry to showcase what happens in the battlefields and in the trenches. This chapter will explore the effects of war such as death, physical impairments and disabilities, madness and suicide. It will also explore the notion of the crowds and how such crowds cheered the soldiers to fight but turned their back on the soldiers upon their crippled return. Such crowds include the women, the church and the establishments which are often addressed in such poetry. This chapter will thus explore the idea of hell on earth. Chapter Three will look at pro-war poets who bullied young men into going to fight in a war which was not expected to last as long. They did so by pressuring them emotionally in making them believe that if they do not they are dishonourable. Many felt that it was their duty to fight for their country and some expressed this in poetry. This chapter will explore how although the initial purpose might not have been propaganda per se, poetry such as this acted as propaganda. Chapter Four will be the final chapter of this dissertation and will be looking at David Jones’ In Parenthesis very briefly as it seems to create a certain balance. This poem is different than the other First World War poetry, even in terms of form. This chapter will also bring together the aspects discussed in order to formulate a conclusion.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2017
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2017

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