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Transcript of Recruiting
- 11 stanzas
- 44 lines
- 21 sentences
- Entire poem is directly referring to the negative effects of war
- Mackintosh mocks and condemns the war through the diction he used
"Waiting to be killed by you." (Stanza 4)
"You to share their martyrdom?" (Stanza 7)
"To live and die with honest men." (Stanza 9)
"In the gallant sacrifice." (Stanza 10)
"Lads, you're wanted. Come and die." (Stanza 11)
Power of Words
- Propaganda is used to indirectly force young, innocent men to go for war
From stanza 1-8, the poem takes on a very mocking tone, as the poet starts ridiculing the misuse of propaganda to attract young soldiers to war.
"Girls with feather, vulgar songs"
From stanza 9, we start to gain a sense of admiration and heroism to the soldiers and men he is describing. He uses diction like "gallant" and "strength".
1) End Rhymes: Structure ABCB
On the railway carriage
Of the hand that penned the
Washy verse on England's
How the message ought to
If you will but pay the
In the gallant
His tone also becomes rather sarcastic as he starts to describe how the propaganda would sound like it was honest.
"Go and help swell the names"
"Help keep them nice and safe"
But throughout stanzas 1-8, the tone of the poem remains bitter and somewhat angry, at those who send the young men off to war for all the wrong reasons. You can see this clearly by the use of his diction, like "blasted" or "damned"
Assonance - Is when the vowels makes the same sound in that line.
Example of an assonance is: d
Although the vowels are different, they still make the same sound making it sound like its the same vowel.
Example from the poem is: The first stanza ' railway carriage wall'. The vowel used in these words are 'a' and they sound alike when being read out loud.
Stanza 9 onwards, the tone changes into a somewhat comforting tone, as if he's saying "it's alright if you've fallen for the propaganda, at least now you will live 20 honest years, at least now you will learn what it is to be a man, with gaiety and strength."
"Better 20 honest years
Than their dull three scores and ten"
..."Can't you see them
The author contradicts two different attitudes to present an irony to the elderly people who pretends wanting to be heroic but ended up being "fat civillians" "thanking god" that they have a choice to not participate in war.
"Shiver in morning dew" S4 L2
Create an image of what war really feels
like and is considered an irony / sarcasm
because the author intends to tell the audience that war is more than what that is told in propaganda.
In stanzas 1-8, he is condemning the "fat civilians" and "harlots" that pressure the men to go off to war, his descriptions makes us feel disgusted and angry at the lengths they went to. The poet's mocking and bitter tone intensifies our own negative feelings towards the people.
Stanza 1 Line 1
Stanza 4 Line 4
Stanza 11 Line 1
Stanza 9 Line 4
with honest men.
Stanza 4 Line 1
Lads, you’re wanted!
Stanza 6 Line 2
Stanza 11 Line 2
derneath the open sky,
- Born in 1853
- Killed in action (1917) in the Battle of Cambrai (France) a year before the end of WWI
- Died at the age of 24
- Wrote the poem after experiencing what war was really like
- Wanted to make other young boys realise that war isn't what the 'fat civilians' make you think it is
- He volunteered to fight for Britain (1914-1916)(age = 21)
Consonance : 'r' slows down the pronunciation of the word
Ballad style [sentimental or emotional expression on a topic]
Regular rhythm and rhyming structure (abcb)
- the writer is firm about his opinion
- it takes on the format of the propaganda (robotic)
- (powerful and obvious (hard to ignore) rhyming) mimics young men being led/forced/lied to into the war
Caesura: "Lads, you're wanted. Come and die."
- Inserting breaks into the middle a line/sentence to change the effect of the line
- Break between the first two lines + stressed syllables - tone of finality.
- Realization (death)
"Live and die with honest men."
Use of enjambment
"'Lads, you're wanted, go and help'
On the railway carriage wall
Stuck the poster, and I thought
Of the hands that penned the call."
"More poor devils like yourselves" S4 L3
"You to share their martyrdom?" S7 L4
Create a bitter image to tell readers
the torments and bitterness of being in
a war, and realising the author has also
used second person when using bitter
imagery, he is making a direct conversation
to create an irony to those who do not contribute anything to war. He has also create irony for those who think fighting in a war is a pride, but really, it is not because overall they are like "poor devils" waiting to kill or to be killed.
"Underneath the open sky"
Consonance - While consonance consists of vowels, consonance contains consonants that repeats in the sentence.
Example of consonance:
ailed. They have the same consonants which is 's'.
In the poem: 'he
p to swe
' in the fifth stanza. We can clearly hear the 'l' sound in those two words.
Alliteration - Alliteration is similar to consonance where this two devices only have consonance involved in it. However, in alliteration, the consonants are only same in front of the word. For example: Her House. The 'h' is only found in the beginning of the word.
"Learn and live" - Line 35 (to slow down the rhythm as to show a heroic sense)
Lads, you're wanted, go and help,'
On the railway carriage wall
Stuck the poster, and I thought
Of the hands that penned the call.
Fat civilians wishing they
'Could go and fight the Hun'.
Can't you see them thanking God
That they're over forty-one?
Girls with feathers, vulgar songs -
Washy verse on England's need -
God - and don't we damned well know
How the message ought to read.