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LTA1B

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by

Zoe Atta-Saow

on 19 March 2014

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Transcript of LTA1B

Analysis Of Extract
Section B
Section A
LTA1B
Read the following extract carefully. It is an extract from a letter written by
Wilfred Owen
to his
mother
on the 4th January
1917
, whilst he was serving at the front line. The letter describes his
arrival in Calais
after joining the Second Manchester Regiment.
 
How
does the writer present his
thoughts and feelings
about World War One?
 
How far
is the extract
similar to and different from
your
wider reading
in the literature of World War One? You should consider the writers’ choices of
form, structure and language.

4 January 1917

My own dear Mother,

I have joined the Regiment, who are just at the end of six weeks' rest.

I will not describe the awful vicissitudes of the journey here. I arrived at Folkestone, and put up at the best hotel. It was a place of luxury — inconceivable now — carpets as deep as the mud here — golden flunkeys; pages who must have been melted into their clothes, and expanded since; even the porters had clean hands. Even the dogs that licked up the crumbs had clean teeth.

Since I set foot on Calais quays I have not had dry feet.
No one knew anything about us on this side, and we might have taken weeks to get here, and must have, but for fighting our way here.

I spent something like a pound in getting my baggage carried from trains to trains.

At the Base, as I said, it was not so bad. We were in the camp of Sir Percy Cunynghame, who had bagged for his Mess the Luke of Connaught's chef.

After those two days, we were let down, gently, into the real thing, Mud.

It has penetrated now into that Sanctuary my sleeping bag, and that holy of holies my pyjamas. For I sleep on a stone floor and the servant squashed mud on all my belongings; I suppose by way of baptism. We are 3 officers in this 'Room', the rest of the house is occupied by servants and the band; the roughest set of knaves I have ever been herded with. Even now their vile language is shaking the flimsy door between the rooms.

I chose a servant for myself yesterday, not for his profile, nor yet his clean hands, but for his excellence in bayonet work. For the servant is always at the side of his officers in the charge and is therefore worth a dozen nurses. Alas, he of the Bayonet is in the Bombing Section and it is against Regulations to employ such as a servant. I makeshift with another.

Everything is makeshift. The English seem to have fallen into the French unhappy-go-lucky non-system. There are scarcely any houses here. The men lie in Barns.

Our Mess Room is also an Ante and Orderly Room. We eat & drink out of old tins, some of which show traces of ancient enamel. We are never dry, and never 'off duty'.

On all the officers' faces there is a harassed look that I have never seen before, and which in England, never will be seen — out of jails. The men are just as Bairnsfather has them — expressionless lumps. We feel the weight of them hanging on us. I have found not a few of the old Fleetwood Musketry party here. They seemed glad to see me, as far as the set doggedness of their features would admit.

I censored hundreds of letters yesterday, and the hope of peace was in every one. The Daily Mail map which appeared about Jan. 2 will be of extreme interest to you.

We were stranded in a certain town one night and I saved the party of us by collaring an Orderly in the streets and making him take us to a Sergeants Mess. We were famishing, and a mug of beer did me more good than any meal I ever munched. The place was like a bit of Blighty, all hung with English Greetings and Mistletoe.

On all the officers' faces there is a harassed look that I have never seen before, and which in England, never will be seen — out of jails. The men are just as Bairnsfather has them — expressionless lumps. We feel the weight of them hanging on us. I have found not a few of the old Fleetwood Musketry party here. They seemed glad to see me, as far as the set doggedness of their features would admit.

I censored hundreds of letters yesterday, and the hope of peace was in every one. The Daily Mail map which appeared about Jan. 2 will be of extreme interest to you.

We were stranded in a certain town one night and I saved the party of us by collaring an Orderly in the streets and making him take us to a Sergeants Mess. We were famishing, and a mug of beer did me more good than any meal I ever munched. The place was like a bit of Blighty, all hung with English Greetings and Mistletoe.




Question 6
AO3- Comparison with wider reading texts
“Now God be thanked who has watched as with his how, and caught our youth and wakened us from sleeping”

“Peace” By Rupert Brooke

How far
do you agree that
the most prevalent theme
in these poems is
the glorification of war
?

Keywords: How, present, thoughts and feelings, how far, similar to and different from, writer’s choices of form, structure and language.
Key points in extract:
AO2
Form:

In the form of a letter from the author to his mother, As an officer, Owen would have been unlikely to have his letters censored; therefore he is able to be open about the realities of war.

The letter is detailed and has great focus on conditions,
"there is a constant reminder of the mud in Owen's letter “-Carpets as deep as the mud here-” "Owen stresses the depth of the mud when he mentions to his mother “Since I set foot on Calais quays I have not had dry feet.”"

There are also suggestions that Owen and his mother share a close relationship
"Owen refers to his mother as “My own dear Mother,” which showcases they were close and had a loving relationship. "

"The intimacy between mother and son has a quality of honest directness - 'I can see no excuse for deceiving you'"



Structure:
First paragraph describing and comparing conditions in Folkestone with those of the trenches.
Separation of short sentence, isolating them on one line emphasises them, giving them a greater impact on the reader, suggesting Owen almost wanted shock his mother in terms of the conditions.
"Moreover, in another isolated sentence that appears to stand as a paragraph on its own; Owen reveals “After those two days, we were let down, gently into the real thing, Mud.”

"use of short sentences. “I will not describe the awful the vicissitudes of the journey here.” Owen’s reluctance to discuss “the vicissitudes of the journey” to his mother conveys how unpleasant the journey must have been "

Owens account seems quite ordered suggesting he is still feeling level headed despite the conditions he has been forced into, and the war has not immediately affected him too drastically.
Language:
His language is descriptive but not overly emotional or passionate, at this point he does not seem to oppose the war nor support it. This factual description gives a sense that although Owen wants to illustrate a truthful portrayal of his war experience to his mother, he does not want to concern her with the
emotional
turmoil he is likely to be facing.
"Owen’s reluctance to discuss “the vicissitudes of the journey” to his mother conveys how unpleasant the journey must have been and how he desires not to dwell upon it nor disclose it with his mother"

Descriptive language, personifying aspects of the conditions (the 'Mud')
"Owen’s use of language suggests that mud is the true enemy not the Germans."
"The common noun ‘mud’ has been capitalised therefore turning it into a proper noun personifying it, perhaps to further emphasis the idea of mud being the real issue that needs to be ascertained"

The reference to the officers as “us” and the men as “them” shows the deep rooted class divisions within the army


Barton and Hilliard’s differing letters home to their own families in
Susan Hill’s
Strange Meeting.

Owen’s letters to his mother in
Stephen MacDonald’s 'Not About Heroes'
, more
emotional “I am feeling a very high pitch of emotion” could be due to the fact
MacDonald is tying to create dramatic effect where as the extract is entirely
Owens own words.
Reference to conditions compared to
Regeneration
, Owen is portrayed as a man broken by the war and saved by
Sassoon, the letter was written before Owen was admitted to Craiglockhart (June
1917) these two Owens are very different.
January Owen is assertive and confident,
this reveals effect war had on him.
"Owen displays an assertive tone which could perhaps suggest the rapid transformation that soldiers would go through- from immature boys to wisdom struck men caused by the realities of war and harshness of the trenches."
•Although letter Is far from patriotic, it is not completely opposed to the war,
suggesting Owen is not yet in the mind set he was in when composing poems such
as
Futility, Exposure, Anthem for Doomed Youth
and
Dulce Et Decorum Est
"Owen reveals in the final paragraph in the letter to his mother that he “censored hundreds of letters” this suggest Owen feels uncomfortable about unveiling the true horridness of war on which Owen uncovers in poems such as Dulce Decorum Est, Exposure and Anthem for Doomed Youth"
AO4: Context
References to the time the letter was written (1917) being before admission to Craiglockhart Hospital :
"This letter was written on the fourth of January 1917 which was the same year, in the month of June he was diagnosed with shellshock. He was evacuated to England and arrived at Craiglockhart War Hospital near Edinburgh in June and by this letter it is evident that Owen had not experienced any mental mishaps."

Reference to difficulties communicating during war, censorship of letters, loss of morale in final years of war, the differences between home front and war front conditions, class difference.

Reference to letter being frequently sent between own and his mother- constant correspondence suggesting close relationship - more involvement from the home front, less ignorance towards the conditions of war.




Thomas Hardy

Men Who March Away

Rupert Brooke
:

The Soldier
-
The Dead
-
Peace
Julian Grenfell

Into Battle

Laurence Binyon

For The Fallen
What other themes are prevalent in the anthology?
Futility of war
-
Wilfred Owen-
'Futility'
The shortness of soldiers lives
The ignorance of the home front
Siegfried Sassoon-
'Glory of Women'
The ignorance of the authorities
The realities of war
Isaac Rosenburg-
'Dead Man's Dump'
Wilfred Owen
- 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'
Robert Graves
– Recalling War
Edgell Rickword
– Winter Warfare
Ivor

Gurney
– The Silent One
Edward Thomas
– Rain
Siegfried Sassoon
– The General
Within the collection,
there is evidence which suggests that the glorification of War is the most prevalent theme throughout the anthology
. A particular piece that reflects this theme is Hardy’s ‘
Men Who March Away’
. This poem presents the depth of commitment that the soldiers had towards the war
‘In our heart of hearts believing’
. This
stresses the powerful belief that many had in the justification of the cause, therefore glorifying war, ‘victory crowns the just’
Selection of a relevant poem supporting the original argument
"Poems such as Rupert Brooke’s ‘The Dead’, glorify the death of men throughout the war as an honourable sacrifice. ‘Blow out you bugles, over the rich dead’, makes reference to wealth, as though the men who have died have gained something much more valuable – ‘
The royal wage’ of ‘honour’ and ‘nobleness’.
This is a clear example of the glorification of war, as it celebrates and praises their sacrifice, whilst justifying their death using a heavy nationalistic tone. "

....
The structure of ‘The Dead’ is in sonnet form
, a tribute in ‘honour’ of those soldiers.....From this,
it could be agreed
that the most prevalent theme in the collection is the glorification of war-
yet ‘The Dead’ does not solely carry this theme, and I believe the theme of justification of death is far more prevalent throughout
-the same could be said for similar poetry in the collection- thus resulting in continual
disagreement towards the glorification of war being most prevalent.
A02: Specific significant language features shaping the theme
AO2: Structure and Form
AO3: Exploration of other interpretations
In complete contrast
, Isaac Rosenburg’s ‘Dead Man’s Dump’ is a poem
extremely opposed to the glorification of War
, offering gruesome detail and visuals of the reality of the First World War. Depicting ‘A man’s brain splattered on a stretcher bearer’s face’ and
‘Bodies burnt black’,

differing greatly
to the ‘Honour’ and ‘Nobleness’ in
poems such as ‘The Dead’
whilst
focusing far more on the theme of the reality and horrors of war.
Whilst doing this, Rosenburg’s poem has the ability to strike the reader, shocking them and
offering a far more substantial prevalence in the collection.
Through poems such as ‘Dead Man’s Dump’ it is difficult to argue that the glorification of war is the most prevalent theme, as
the reality of war is a far stronger theme
, as it has
a far greater impact
and presence within the collection and therefore can cause me to disagree.
AO3: Comparison of texts
AO2: Language
AO1: Acknowledgment of 'How far' in question, highlighting extent
AO3: Comparison of texts- contrasting the two poems on how prevalent each of their themes are
Overall,
I find the glorification of War is a theme that is highlighted within this collection -but is not prevalent.
As this theme does run through certain major poems, it is not highlighted with significance in others.
Far more powerful and substantial poems
such as,
'Futility'
by Owen or
'Report on Experience'
by Blunden, Sassoon's '
The General'
and Rosenburg's
'Dead Man's Dump'
do not glorify the War but instead they are a
far more prevalent
opposition towards it.
The negatives of the First World War are most certainly prevalent throughout this collection
whilst the glorification of the War is deemed
a weaker theme
as it cannot not justify the means of warfare.
A03:Offering a personal response to the question whilst concluding a balanced argument
Question 7
"For the Fallen” By Robert Laurence Binyon is the
greatest portrayal
of
the mourning Britain experienced
due to the First World War.
To what extent do you agree
with this view of the selection?
Poem 160 Page 209
For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Key points:

Focus on memorial of those who sacrificed themselves in aid of the cause
“Fallen in the cause of the free.” “we will remember them”

• The shortness of the soldier’s life
“with proud thanksgiving, a mother for
her children”

• The preservation of the honor of the deceased
“They fell with their faces
to the foe.”

• The soft and respectful tone and language
“age shall not weary them, nor
the years condemn.”

• Patriotism and the connection between the home front and the frontline
“England mourns for her dead across the sea. Flesh of her flesh they
were”
Points supporting the question:

uses the love and admiration of the solider to convey the loss of a generation
experienced due to the conflict.

The men who fought in the war died “in the cause of the free” and that is an
important way for the British people to remember the men who fought as they
died bravely , this creates the idea that the deaths were worthwhile. -
A01

The
structure and form
of them poem is symbolic of the way Britain coped with
the war and how in their mourning they continued to carry on with life and
sending troops out to war regularly. –
A02

The poem is traditional in the sense is that it is written in a seven quatrain,
alternate rhyme form. This is like the mourning Britain experienced as a whole
because the people of Britain would alternate the general mood between great
sadness and great pride –
A02

Perhaps “For the Fallen” is the greatest portrayal of the noble and brave sacrifice
soldiers made –
A01
Points opposing the question:

However the idea that For the Fallen is the greatest portrayal of this must be questioned, as
Rupert
Brooke’s
the soldier also stresses the honour of dying in battle, “all evil shed away”. Similarly to Binyon,
Brookes too uses the respect for and memory of the soldiers’ who perished to not only convey the
mourning experienced by Britain but also the heroic sacrifice young men made due to love of country,
“hearts at peace, under an English heaven.” –
A03 AND A01

The poem uses nationalistic language such as “fallen in the cause of the free” which
greatly differs
from
the tone created by Sassoon in “The Hero”. Instead of celebrating the bravery and mourning the loss of life
through justification of the deaths, Sassoon uses satire to portray the nature of “Jack’s” death as a lie,
concealed from his mother; perhaps this represents the way in which the authorities kept those on the
home front ignorant of the realities of war. Therefore perhaps some may feel that Sassoon portrays the
mourning Britain experienced with
greater emotion and purpose
, as he attempts to focus on the loss of
individual lives, through the naming of “Jack”, whereas Binyon merely refers to the deceased collectively
as “they”. This could be seen as
dehumanising by some and as patriotic by others
. –
A03

However it can be argued that “For the Fallen” By Robert Laurence Binyon is
not the greatest example
of
the mourning Britain experienced as a whole as it
does not have the angry tone that “Anthem for Doomed
Youth” uses
, as it exemplifies the frustration and anger Owen felt at being a young soldier facing what
appeared to be inevitable death on the front line. Many others in Britain who opposed the war felt this
way and would mourn those who died “as cattle” and not as human beings who deserved better and that
their death is not a cause for celebration like “For the Fallen” suggests. –
A03
Poems that highlight the theme of glorification of war:

Thomas Hardy –
Men Who March Away
Rupert Brooke –
The Soldier
-
The Dead
- Peace
Julian Grenfell –
Into Battle
Laurence Binyon –
For The Fallen
By Sema, Natasha, Claire, Jennifer & Zoe
Assesment Objectives:

Section A:

AO1-
3 Marks: Sophisticated confident style of writing

A02-
12 Marks: Form, Structure, Language

AO3-
3 Marks: Comparison to wider reading texts

AO4-
27 Marks: Context
Assessment Objectives:

AO1
-15 Marks: Sophisticated, Confident style
AO2
-15 Marks: Form Structure Language
AO3
-15 Marks: Comparisons to anthology poems
AO4-0 Marks: Context
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