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Innocence Lost: The Soldier Poets of World War I

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  1. Introduction
  2. Wilfred Owen's poem 'Disabled'
  3. The Latin phrase at the end
  4. Sassoon's 'On Passing the New Menin Gate'
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

Before the Great War, "it had been almost fifty years since any major European power had attacked any similar country" (Childs 40). England did not remember what war was really like; the people knew nothing except for the romantic notion of war. They believed that to fight for one's country was not only noble but also one's duty as a citizen. Men and boys were excited about going to war and becoming heroes but were completely unprepared for the harsh realities that awaited them. The work of the WWI Soldier Poets reflects an entire generation's journey from innocence and optimism to horror and disillusionment.

[...] The work of the WWI Soldier Poets reflects an entire generation's sad journey from innocence and optimism to horror and disillusionment. They went into the war thinking that they would come home heroes, but even the ones who did make it home came back feeling not heroic but betrayed and were forced to live with the lasting physical and psychological affects of war. Peter Childs notes that . ] at some points in the war the average life-expectancy of a new infantry subaltern on the Western Front was three months" (Childs 40) and that . [...]

[...] The Latin phrase at the end translates as "Sweet and decorous it is to die for one's country," which Owen reveals as "the old lie." Nothing about dying in a war is These men suffered brutal, violent deaths; many were tortured; many contracted terrible and painful diseases; many lay wounded in the fields for hours or even days before dying. In "Disabled," Owen writes of a boy who lost his legs in the war and is destined to spend the rest of his life miserable and lonely. He has returned home but cannot stand to be around other men because they only remind him of what he will never be again?"whole." And the girls "all [ . [...]

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