The Horrors Of War Through The Eyes — страница 2

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setting is when Sassoon writes, O German mother dreaming by the fire, /While you are knitting socks to send your son/His face is trodden deeper in the mud. Here I picture an older woman sitting in a chair by the fireside, her eyes closed, with a tiny smile moving slowly across her face. This motherly figure is there to remind the readers that, perhaps their own mothers are ignorant of the true nature of war. This poem is about a soldier or anti-war activist that is recognizing all of the things women do for their sons and husbands when they come back from the war. Sassoon mentions that they worship decorations , listen with delight , and can t understand why When hell s last horror breaks them [the soldiers], and they run, trampling the terrible corpses blind with blood . This is

probably the sickest part of this poem, I can imagine that many war veterans would have a lot to say about the fear experiences during war. He especially focuses on the women, who, in his mind, didn t understand how hard it is to kill others and endure the terrible nature of war which can break grown men very easily. Sassoon sets up this terrifying realization by very creative means. First, he titled the poem Glory of Women , which automatically has his readers believing that his poem will sing praise to women, and the word glory in the title suggests that war might be a main topic of the poem. This alone might lead one to believe theme of this poem is thanking women for all the support they ve given the military while the war was raging. Sassoon continues to confirm this by

talking throughout most of the poem about the ways in which women support their troops. Then, Sassoon takes a very shocking turn when he questions why a German mother might be knitting socks for her son, who is either face deep in mud because he has been killed, or face deep in mud as a result of fighting in the horrible combat conditions of trench warfare. Here, the reader s mind changes from processing a peaceful scene at home to contemplating a serious irony. Because of the build up that Sassoon creates, this ending is very effective in conveying his anti-war message. The main characters in this poem consist of the speaker (most likely Sassoon), a general population of women who have husbands or sons fighting in the war and all share these common mannerisms, and one specific

mother of a German soldier. The German soldier s mother is another one of the women he refers to in the opening of the poem, except it is odd that he chose a German woman instead of a British woman. This may be to show that while German troops may be trying to kill British soldiers, killing another man is difficult to do because somewhere in Germany there is probably a woman, like a British soldier s mother, who will be mourning the loss of their son because he was killed. Sassoon is trying to suggest that if one acknowledges that this German woman could have a love for her son that is just like any mother s love, killing her son is very difficult. Sassoon might have realized that this was even more important in this war than ever because previously soldiers could generally see

the people they killed and could deal with this issue of taking a life in a more direct way. This is not as true in the trench warfare that Sassoon is referring to, where most of the time you can t tell who you re shooting to kill. One of the most interesting aspects of this poem is the rhyme scheme that Sassoon has chosen to employ. Sassoon uses an A, B, A, B, C, D, C, D . rhyme scheme, which is very conventional, however, it is not the rhyme scheme s structure that is interesting, but rather the words that he chooses to pair in each rhyme. He is very careful to select words that contradict each other, or give us a very cynical message about war in general. In the second line, Or wounded in a mentionable place he speaks of a wounded soldier that is loved for being injured in a

mentionable place. He ironically couples this rhyme with line four which ends the war s disgrace , suggesting that a woman at home might find it disgraceful to be wounded anywhere other than a mentionable place. Another shocking pair of rhymes can be found with lines eight and ten. Here, Sassoon rhymes the words thrilled and killed which strikes the reader very harshly. One must wonder if Sassoon deliberately put forth such a blatantly twisted image of a person (in this case possibly a woman) being thrilled when someone they love is killed in the war. Perhaps Sassoon is trying to overemphasize the housewife s desire to find attention. Nothing would attract as much attention as being the widow of a soldier who died in such an admirable way, fighting for his country, especially if