Different Attitudes Toward World War II in Society

Different Attitudes Toward World War II in Society

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Different Attitudes Toward World War II in Society


During the Romantic period war was portrayed as being honourable and
often wars where fought for religion and to be patriotic and loyal to
your country. In more modern day views however you can begin to see
how these ideas have faded and how war is not heroic anymore, it is
seen more as a last resort and has no honour. Poetry from past times
concentrated on the heroism of war and rarely included any gruesome
details of civilians being killed or woman and children being killed.
Modern poets now talk about the cruelty and callowness of war and are
generally very against all wars.

The Destruction of Sennacherib describes what I was discussing earlier
about war being honourable. Written during the Romantic period by a
poet named Lord Byron, this poem is bright and colourful and describes
how, "The host with their banners at sunset where seen" This gives us
the image of a powerful army moving forward throughout the night to
attack their unsuspecting victims. During the period that this poem
was written there was a lot of holy crusades and the line, " For the
Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, " gives us the
impression that this war is about a holy crusade and that God has sent
the Angel of Death to aid them in their quest. Later in the poem the
author talks about how, "The lances unlifted and the trumpets
unblown," suggesting that the Assyrians have slaughtered their enemy
with the help of the Angel of Death.

This poem in general is very pro-war and talks a lot about the how the
Assyrians slaughtered their foes. It has a very old fashion view on
war, we can tell that this is not a modern poem by the style that it
was written in as there are rhyming couplets at the end of each
sentence. At the end of the poem the rhythm slows significantly to put
even more emphasis on the complete annihilation of the opposing army,

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whereas through out the rest of the poem the rhyming rhythm is very
strong and obviously leading up to the battle.

A man called Wilfred Owen wrote the poem Futility. From the beginning
we get an idea of this poem is going to be like, the title futility
means hopelessness. This poem is more modern that The Destruction of
Sennacherib, war is now about mass destruction, each death is of no
importance anymore. In the first stanza of this sonnet things are much
more calm, he uses words like gently, whispering and kind, this stanza
has a lot of positive imaginary and the tone is quite bright, Owen
portrays this through the different types of language he uses. However
when we begin to read the second stanza he begins to use more dark and
depressing images. He begins to ask God why he even created the world
if it was going to end up like this. This is where we begin to see the
reasons for him naming the poem futility; he now thinks that things
are now hopeless for the solider he talks about, not even the kind old
sun that he talks about in the 1st stanza can revive him now.

Originally a sonnet was written about love and emotions, this was the
first ever sonnet written about war, during the early 20th century
many poets where rebelling over the 19th century views on war. In this
poem Owen comments on how war is futile and accuses God of allowing
this war to even happen.

Richard Eberhart wrote the Fury of Aerial Bombardment, it was written
about the Second World War and all the new technology that was used in
it. In the poem he refers to Cain who was the first ever person to
murder, this would suggest that the author believes that all the war
is, is mass murder and that God no longer has any control over what's
happening, nor does he care "You would feel that after so many
centuries God would give man to repent" he is saying that even after
so many centuries man is still making the same mistakes and not
repenting for them. He also thinks that man hasn't advanced any
further since his is ancient ancestors and that they are only after
greed. At the end of the poem he mentions "Names on a list, whose
faces I do not recall" This verse is a personal one where he comments
on that there have been so many deaths he can no longer recall them
all.

Comparing and contrasting poems A and B is not difficult, as the
differences are clear. Poem A, The Destruction of Sennacherib, is
about the glories of war, whereas poem B, Futility, is about despair
and bleakness. In futility there is brutal imagery of war and death,
whereas in the destruction of Sennacherib the images are colourful and
exciting, there is no mentions of brutality or anything like that. In
The Destruction of Sennacherib the author felt that God justified the
war whereas the author of Futility believed that war was pointless and
meaningless.

Comparing poems B, Futility, and poem C, The Fury of Aerial
Bombardment has proven to be much more difficult, there is of course
the obvious difference that is the lay out of the poems, Futility is
written in sonnet form whereas The Fury of Aerial Bombardment is done
in stanzas. Throughout Futility we often get the feeling that Owen was
actually there to witness the events happening whereas with Eberhart
we often feel as if he is detached from the happenings. Throughout
Futility we have a contrast between bright, positive images and the
constant dreary and sadistic images found in The Fury of Aerial
Bombardment. In The Fury of Aerial Bombardment the author is
constantly referring to God and how he has neither control, nor
feelings over this war that is happening before him whereas in
Futility the author asks how could he let this happen, suggesting that
he believed God still had some control over the war and what was
happening. The Fury of Aerial Bombardment is also constantly
questioning things whereas Futility accepts what has happened but
silently wonders why.
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