No man wants to go to war and no government wants war but there are
many different circumstances that lead to the action of war. Those
involved in war will have political and personal views towards it. The
First World War was greeted with great enthusiasm and patriotism;
however it was the war in which millions died compared to the wars
after. In the past 200 years warfare has changed and with this change
the ideas on war have changed too.
Wilfred Owen, Rudyard Kipling and David Roberts are well known war
poets. Using a selection of their poems we hope to analyze the two
conflicting views on war.
To understand what influenced the poets we need to get an idea of
their social and historical background.
The poet Rudyard Kipling was an ex army official so his poems on war
can be trusted. However during Kipling’s war days war was not fully
mechanized so Kipling cannot really describe the horror of WW1.
In his poem ‘For All We Have and Are’ Rudyard Kipling uses words and
phrases like “For all our children’s fate” to emphasize the need for
war, Saying if you are not going to fight for yourself than fight for
He than justifies going to war by saying “a crazed and driven foe”. I
think by this he means that our foe is mentally disturbed we have to
stop him for his own and others benefit. He than says “The Hun is at
the gate” Meaning that the Germans are coming. If we don’t go out and
meet them they will attack us. He also curses the Germans by calling
The Huns were originally an ancient tribe who ravaged and plundered
every where they went. By calling the Germans, Huns Rudyard Kipling
suggests that they are the same and present a danger to all so we hav...
... middle of paper ...
... the stupidity of the war and uses sarcastic
phrases such as ‘It must take guts to drop those bombs on defenceless
people who had no chance’ to emphasize the unfairness of the war.
Roberts also says ‘Your boys didn’t have to maim and kill or break the
hearts of other mothers’ by this statement I think he means that I
know your depressed about the loss of your sons but think of the other
mothers whose hearts your sons broke by killing people who like them
were just following orders.
In this poem I feel David Roberts challenges the government’s decision
to go to war against Iraq by calling this war the ‘shamefullest of
wars’ and by highlighting the depression and death it has already
If you look at the differences between the 3 poems described you will
find that as time want on and war got uglier you started hearing more
of the truth about war.
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