Attitudes To The War in 'Who's For The Game?' and 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'

Attitudes To The War in 'Who's For The Game?' and 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'

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‘Who’s for the Game?’
and
‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’

Q: Compare the attitudes to the war and its presentation in the 2 poems ‘Who’s For The Game?’ and ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’. Include an analysis of the language used and its structure.

In the two poems ‘Who’s For the Game?’ and ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’, there are many fundamental differences which set the two poems in two different places in a reader’s mind – the way they interpret the poem. I will be explaining how these essential differences make the reader ponder in different ways.

The first difference is that both poems were written by the opposite gender, which to me is a fundamental difference because it shows how they think about the war – ‘Who’s For the Game?’ was written by a female (Jessie Pope) and ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ was written by a male (Wilfred Owen). Along with this major difference, Jessie Pope was a woman who had no part in the war, except for helping in creating propaganda posters and preaching propaganda throughout her country. However, Wilfred Owen was a soldier in World War I, which helped him create his poem as he was able to hark Jessie Pope’s poem and all the propaganda about the war; he was able to show the people of England the true horrors of the war, whereas Jessie Pope created her poem as if she were writing about a game, as if the war were a game, with no first-eye experience, no hand-eye witness of what actually happens in the war.

Next, I will be exploring the two titles and how they are reflected in the poem. In the first poem ‘Who’s For the Game?’ the title is a kind of rhetorical question, wherein the poet Jessie Pope asks her readers ‘who is going to fight for their country?’, ‘who is going to die for their country?’ and ‘who is goi...


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...show her how it really was, with all the gruelling details.

Jessie Pope’s language is very much colloquial and as before mentioned, very informal, and this was mainly because it wasn’t addressing the older men to join, but it convinced younger boys to as well. This adds to the propaganda theme and this sort of language is throughout the poem, which makes me understand even more why Owen had to hark Pope and all the pro-propagandists in the world, because it does very much show how these people treated the war – they thought of it as a game where you win some you lose some, but they didn’t realise that this wasn’t a game and real people with families, their lives were at risk and unfortunately they paid for their mistakes.

Wilfred was very much against the war, as can be shown in his poem because he uses his language to show the reader that the war is not a gam

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