The Horrors Of War Through The Eyes

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The Horrors Of War, Through The Eyes Of A Modernis Essay, Research Paper The Horrors of War, Through the Eyes of a Modernist Poet Modernism was a movement in literature that was the result of many events of the times. First, the industrial revolution, which changed the way many people lived, strongly affected the writing of the Modernists. Modernist writers started to believe that the world was getting darker, which lead some Modernists to believe that this downward trend would culminate in the apocalypse. This dark feeling of despair is a very common theme in a lot of Modernist writing. This pessimistic writing was a direct result of revolutionary events from which the movement was born and thrived. The Modernists were the first writers in history to be faced with such

drastic change in lifestyle as were seen in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time, technological advancement was moving faster, helping to make lives more convenient, as well as making it easier to end others lives. Just as the industrial revolution started to become less foreboding to people, a new crisis broke out of the ashes that fed the pessimistic views of the Modernists. This tragic theme of World War I is very prevalent in Siegfried Sassoon s poem Glory of Women . In this poem, a person comments on how women, while supportive of their troops fighting overseas, know nothing of the horrors of war which their sons and husbands are enduring. The speaker is possibly Sassoon because while he was very patriotic during the beginning of the World War I, as he

started to hear more of the horrific nature of war, his attitude began to change from patriotism to pacifism. This poem seems to be a product of his pacifist movement. The poet/speaker seems very interested in presenting his or her prophecy of doom through a means that most people can relate. The poem is written with a sense of cynicism that can t be denied by anyone. The speaker states that the women who listen to the horrors stories are fondly thrilled by tales of dirt and danger . It seems natural that people are thrilled by tales of dirt and danger, but in this poem one might get a queasy feeling of distaste for these women because they get a pleasurable thrill from hearing of a war that is taking the lives of their sons and husbands. Sassoon is practically laughing at the

misconceptions held by the women in this poem, showing them in a very unfavorable light of ignorance. Sassoon s voice doesn t seem that angry with the women, like a zealous war protester, instead his voice sounds more like an editorial writer, jabbing at the war effort with cynicism. He stands back and snickers at the way women view the war, perhaps to inform people that the war isn t like they might think. The speaker suggests that rather than glorifying the victories, perhaps people should take notice of all those who are dying for a cause that isn t justified, at least in Sassoon s mind. The poem is set just about anywhere that people who haven t learned of the horrors of war might be living. The setting is significant to the main theme of disillusionment that many Modernist

poets struggled with because it suggests that there are people everywhere who don t know of the slaughtering of unseen faces that goes on during trench warfare. Sassoon also uses the setting of home, which is mentioned as the place where, You [the women] love us [the soldiers] when we re heroes . This perhaps feeds into his need to inform the people that women away from the war find shelter in a false sense of security that their troops (either husbands or sons) are going to be fine because they are winning the war and are becoming heroes. Sassoon also wants to make people realize that home is a very important place because it is the only place one might be safe from harm, therefore it should be cherished. The only time in the poem I get a very specific sense of a definitive