Comparing The Charge of The Light Brigade, War and A Wife in London. Essay

Comparing The Charge of The Light Brigade, War and A Wife in London.

Select three poems from the selection, which are concerned withdifferent aspects of war. Write about and compare the poems in respectof the following:

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? The views of war that the poets are expressing

? The tones and atmospheres of the poems

? The ways in which language and rhythm are used to reinforce thepoets’ themes and viewpoints

? Any other factors considered important.

The three poems that I have chosen are: “The Charge of The LightBrigade”, “War” and “A Wife in London”. I chose each of them fordifferent reasons, but mainly because they each look at very differentaspects of the war and the poets all have completely differentattitudes to war.

“The Charge of The Light Brigade” is an exultant poem, concerned withthe glorified aspect of war, that all men are heroes, brave andcourageous for fighting for their country. It is about a suicidal,yet heroic battle fought by the British Cavalry in 1854. A mistakencommand received by a superior sent, unquestioning, 600 horsemencharging into the head of a valley bristling with artillery and nearlyall of them ‘fell’.

“War” is set ‘behind the scene’ and concerns itself with the peoplewho dealt with the consequences of war – the doctors and orderlies. Itis a moving poem and shows the reader how bad conditions were in SouthAfrica. It is about the dedication of people to try and save the“Case” (patients) and prevent them from turning into another “It” –yet another dead body. The poet, Edgar Wallace was a medical orderlyhimself, so he would have had first hand knowledge of how badconditions and casualties could get.

“A Wife in London” deals with the suffering…

…ng inthe tent and during the “War!” – “the part that is not for show”, “avery unhealthy trade” and “Orderly, clean this knife!”. These eachhave a way of opening a window into this little part of the war andgives us an understanding of how horrible it is, with the never-endingstream of casualties and reports back home in newspapers that are notallowed to show anything against war (“the part that is not forshow”).

Each of the three poems, haunts the reader after a reading or two,whether for good or for bad. They have made sure that I, as a reader,am totally against war, no matter how good the reasons are or how muchglory it is given as in “The Charge of The Light Brigade”. I amagainst the waiting and mourning for those left behind as in “A Wifein London”. Moreover, I am most definitely against the loss offathers, sons, brothers and husbands.


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