Attitude Towards War in The Soldier and Anthem for Doomed Youth

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Attitude Towards War in The Soldier and Anthem for Doomed Youth The two poems that I will be comparing in this essay are: “The Soldier” By Rupert Brooke, and “Anthem for Doomed Youth” By Wilfred Owen. Both of these poems are sonnets and both are written during The First World War. Although both sonnets are set during the same time period and are about the same war, the poets have very contradicting views; these views are expressed in their work. The first poem; “The Soldier” is focused on the different meanings and aspects of dying for your country in a foreign land, or behind-enemy-lines. In a war as brutal and tragic as the Second World War, the death of a mere soldier is often neglected and cast aside. Therefore, the poet concentrates on not only the physical consequences and effects of his death, but the mental and spiritual ones too. The poet believes that because he is an Englishman he represents a small moving part of England. This leads him to believe that if he dies on the battlefield, the ground on which his corpse decomposes will become a tiny fraction of England. The poet believes that the only purpose of his death is to bless the land he dies on. “If I should die, think only this of me : That there’s some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England.” This is proof of the poet’s belief that if he is to die away from his homeland he will turn the ground he dies on into a piece of his homeland. This shows that he is patriotic and that even in death he feels he will be doing something to help his country’s cause in the war. In the same stanza the poet goes on the praise the rich and wealthy value his death will bring to the country he dies in. The poet sees England as a super... ... middle of paper ... ...e readers attention. After reading these two poems, I had a very different opinion of war. The references to “cattle” in the second sonnet and the patriotism in the first particularly helped me to understand war more intelligently. If three-hundred people die in a plane crash, it is seen as a tragedy. If one-million people die in a war, it is seen as a statistic. By understanding the emotions and opinions of people truly affected by combat, you can gain valuable knowledge and insight into the real horrors and atrocities of war. It is often the dream of schoolboys to go to war and fight. If they understood the more horrific and damaging aspects of conflict I am sure that they would not dream for a second, of going to war. That is why I believe these poems are very valuable in the modern world. They are an effective tool in the education of young minds.
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