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World War 1 effects on Literature
Transcript of World War 1 effects on Literature
and it's influences
on literature by Dakota Baer World War 1 was really a war
that follows the cliche that "one thing
leads to another." The sparkplug that
really set it off was the assassination
of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand,
who was heir to the Austro-Hungarian
throne. His death was
due to a group of
radical Serbian Nationalists
known as the "Black Hand." In doing so, the group
sparked the group
the first World War. Austria- Hungary's reaction
was to give Serbia the proclomation
to punish the assassins. Not happy with
the response Serbia gave, Austria - Hungary declared war on Serbia
on July 28, 1914. A chain reaction then occured because so many countries had treaties with each other. The sides ended up as follows: The stage was set. The first battles to have taken place that were recorded were the Battle of Leige and the Battle of the Frontiers, the first being a victory for the Allies while the other ended up with an almost neutral result. Some important and decisive battles in the war
included the Battle of Verdun, The Marne, Ypres,
The Somme, and the Battle of Cambrai. Due to technological advancement and superior
strategizing, the Allies soon came out triumphant of
the "War to end all wars". the war was offically over when
the Germans signed the Treaty of Versailles on June 28th, 1919. How did this war effect literature though? World War One has had many significant
influences on Literature in American culture.
In one aspect, WWI created a breed of war veterans who wrote about their perils and victories in poems. Some examples of those poets would be Wilfred Owen as well as Siegfried Sassoon. The war also bred American war veteran
poets as well. This included poets such as
Joyce Kilmer, Alan Seeger, Gertrude Stein,
and Archibald Macleish. These poets would
express the horrors they saw and the brutality
they were observing in poetry form. A poem
that does such a thing would be Macleish's
"The Silent Slain". We too, we too, descending once again
The hills of our own land, we too have heard
Far off -- Ah, que ce cor a longue haleine --
The horn of Roland in the passages of Spain,
the first, the second blast, the failing third,
And with the third turned back and climbed once more
The steep road southward, and heard faint the sound
Of swords, of horses, the disastrous war,
And crossed the dark defile at last, and found
At Roncevaux upon the darkening plain
The dead against the dead and on the silent ground
The silent slain -- Poets such as Alan Seeger also
talked about their war experiences. One of his famous poems was entitled "I have a Rendezvous with Death". I have a Rendezvous with Death
By Alan Seeger
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.
God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear . . .
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous. In addition to poetry, fighters also started using journalism as well to record what they experienced. Some famous journalists that were American's in WWI were
Reginald Huggins, David Phillips and Charles Trehane,who writes
here about one of his horses in the war. After we had been marching for four hours or so, we got on to a road down which a squadron had raided a few weeks previously. One couldn't help knowing it. The dead-horse smell was nauseating. It made Brent sick. Several were lying quite near the road, their legs sticking straight up in the air, their bodies swollen like balloons. The stench was quite awful. Thank goodness it only lasted for about a mile!
Shaitan began to get very sluggish. I had to keep urging him on, a thing I had never had to do before. I guessed he must be feeling pretty rotten, because, though for the last three weeks I'd missed the eager springing step of old, he had never slacked. Worn out as I knew he must have been at times, that great spirit of his would never let him rest.
Today I hated riding him. It was cruel having to urge when I could feel the effort it was to him to keep going, and I knew how bravely he was trying.
Twice he stumbled badly, and at the second time I called up my orderly and told him to bring me one of the spare horses at the next halt.
"Old Shaitan's tired out," I said. "We'll give him a rest." But the rest came sooner.
A few minutes before we were due to halt he suddenly stopped, turned off the path, walked a few paces, and stood still. And then he sank. I only just had time to slip off before he collapsed. We got his girth undone and pulled the saddle away and slipped the bit out of his mouth. And he lay there on his side, a poor worn shadow of what he used to be.
I rubbed the velvet muzzle gently with my knuckles, I pulled an ear that was cold and damp with sweat... and said goodbye to him.
There was nothing else for it. I brushed aside a wisp of forelock and put my revolver to his temple - and shot him.
Captain C. H. Trehane entered the Army from Sandhurst in 1912. Attached 2nd King's Regt. and 8th Hussars, and joined 25th Cavalry (Frontier Force), I.A., in 1913. 1914-1915, operations at Miramshah, North-West Frontier; 1917, German East Africa; 1918, Mesopotamia and Persia (attached 5th Cavalry). Eventually invalided from the service. Some of these journals and poems
then created novels and inspiring others.
http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/ww1 In all, WWI changed literature from
a fictional, hopeful writing to a true and
overwelming shock. It inspired many poems,
journals, books, and really changed the mindset of writing in the early 1900's. Citations
Duffy, Michael. "First World War." First World War. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2011. <http://www.firstworldwar.com/poetsandprose/index.htm>.
"The Poets." english.emory.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2011. <http://english.emory.edu/LostPoets/ThePoets.html>.
"Timelines World War 1."Stewart Ross. Timeline World War 1. Minnesota; Arctarus Publishing 2008