‘Who’s for the Game’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’
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What contrasting purposes did the poets have as they wrote, and how are those purposes reflected in the language they used?
Jessie Pope wrote ‘Who’s for the Game’ to encourage young men into joining the British army. She wrote it as she believed one hundred percent in the war and the government propaganda. She was very patriotic and wanted to use her writing skills to help the country. Jessie Pope wrote the poem the way she did she because she did not want to discourage men from going into battle. But she was very arrogant as she sat in her house in England having no idea of what was happening in France. The title suggests that the war is a kind of sport, something that will be fun and enjoyable. The first verse carries on the theme of it being a game ‘The red crashing game of a fight?’ She chooses ‘red crashing game’ as this conjures the image of boxing. The word ‘fight’ sounds a lot better than war or battle as it does not sound fatal. ‘Who’ll grip and tackle the job unafraid?’ It carries on the idea of it being a game like a game of rugby. The next line ‘And who thinks he’d rather sit tight?’ Makes men feel pressurised into going into war, and makes them feel cowardly if they lie low.
‘Who’ll give his country a hand?’ This line personifies Great Britain as someone who needs help, It makes men feel as if they have to do there duty for the country and makes patriotic propaganda. ‘Who wants a turn to himself in the show?’ This makes men have the impression that they can have there time as a hero. ‘Who would much rather come back with a crutch than lie low and be out of the fun?’ This line gives the idea that there is little danger on the battlefield she also conveys the idea that the worst that will happen is a minor injury and that it is much better than having no fun in the war. She also has a friendly manner in her poem as she refers to the men as ‘lads’ It gives the poem a much more informal tone as well. ‘Your country is up to her neck in a fight, And she’s looking and calling for you.’ This makes men feel deceitful if they do not help their country. Also it personify’s the country as a woman in need of help, this shows the sexist attitude of the time where men were expected to take care of and protect their women.