Jessie Pope's Attitude toward War in the Poem Who's For the Game Essay

Jessie Pope's Attitude toward War in the Poem Who's For the Game Essay

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Jessie Pope was a journalist who wrote recruitment poems for the Daily
Mail during the First World War. The poems she did write were positive
propaganda poems for the war; her objective was to stimulate
patriotism in the readers so that the men would join the forces. Pope
wrote a persuasive poem where she compared war to a game. This is
illustrated in the title 'Who's for the game?' It shows that her
attitude toward war was that it was a great big event that everyone should
take part in one way or another. The title is a short and punchy
question inviting anyone to answer. This gives the wrong impression of
the war, it is misleading. Pope was ridiculed for doing this, but if she did write
the actual reality of war, no one would really want to join, therefore
the aim of the poem would not be fulfilled and the British army would
have no chance of wining in the war.

Stanza one begins again by referring to the war as a 'game' for the
above reason and also emphasises that it is the 'biggest' game ever
known, war is not a game where you may loose points but where it is
likely to loose a limb or loose your life. By her saying war it the
game, 'the biggest that's played,' Jessie Pope gives a false notion in
the first line and makes war sound remarkable when clearly it is not.
The 'game' is then repeated to enforce excitement even more. Pope goes
on to imply it could be a violent game, appealing to the masculine
instinct whilst there is a comparison between 'the red crashing game'
and the red blood shed in war, she makes it seem like a boxing match.

Jessie Pope continues to base the poem on a game by stating: 'Who'll
grip and tackle t...

... middle of paper ...

...nza because she personalises
it in other ways by commanding them to join to rescue their country,
respond to its call for help and using 'you'.

In conclusion it is a very simple and assertive poem that was popular
with the general public as Jessie Pope's writing contained the normal
indifferent public's view that supported the war from the safety of
their home. The poem, 'Who's for the game?' were disliked by some for
the misleading remarks but also admired by others for the basic
language which was easy for all to comprehend. The attitudes expressed
in the poem were that war should not be treated as a serious and
avoided subject but something that should be enjoyed by courageous men
willing to fight for their country without hesitation and men who were
not eager to join were considered cowards and should be ashamed.

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