War the First World War there was

War Poetry: Comparative Essay; The First World War Changed the way Some People Thought about War and Patriotism The First World War was probably the occurrence that has had the most profound effect on people's views on the principles of war and patriotism. Before the War there was a glamorous, even attractive idea of war portrayed by the government, this view was accepted by the public, hence the massive amounts of voluntary enlistment during thefirst few months of the War. With the introduction of photographic technology the traditional idea of war and death for your country was shattered, it was revealed to a quite unprepared public that they were sending their “boys” out into a hell of mud, death and inhuman suffering that could reduce the most determined of soldiers to a state of total incompetence, both mentally and physically. A war is no longer the clashing of individuals in more or less single combat, it is the clashing of governments, the enemy is not the man that you kill with your bayonet, it is the state responsible for placing him in the path of that thrust. Unlike medieval battles where champions of the armies could often settle disputes and the most fierce battles were fought either by volunteers or by those who owe allegiance to one king or another, in the First World War there was very little personal loyalty to the generals or parliament, there was only a certain feeling that it was important to “do your bit” for the war effort.

It wasn’t until the wounded and shell shocked victims of global conflict started pouring into Britain in their thousands that the public feelings of national pride began to ebb and conscription was introduced. This change of opinion was combated with censorship, secrecy and massaged figures in the press, the public were led to believe that the War was not as horrific as they may have thought, this was not always successful as is illustrated particularly well by four poems of vary…

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