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A model of how we should look at war - Research Paper Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: A Critical Analysis of the Views about Wars Presented in Alfred Lord Tennyson's “Charge of the Light Brigade” and Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” If Alfred Lord Tennyson's “Charge of the Light Brigade” and Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” are read side by side, one will necessarily find that Owen’s perspective on war quite adeptly defies and invalidates Tennyson’s attempt to view war as something glorious and honorable…
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Download file to see previous pages The severity of pains keeps him busy with himself, not giving him much scope to mull over the necessity of this painful reality. He cannot brood much over the philosophy why people need to involve in war because he himself is busy with it. On the contrary, the speaker in Tennyson’s poem sees war from a bird’s-eye point of view. The flaw (or limitation) in such a viewpoint is that it does not allow the speaker as well as the readers to experience the realities of war from within itself. Therefore, Tennyson’s speaker fails to view war as an unwanted reality. Being blindfolded by an undefined (it is undefined because he fails to define why he should call the soldiers glorious and honorable) idealism and by love and passion for one’s country, he tends to glorify war. Such an attempt of the speaker in Tennyson’s poem is often difficult to be sorted out from a fascist tendency to glorify one’s country’s involvement in a war, irrespective of the right and the wrong. Tennyson’s poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” tells the story of the British soldiers’ courage and heroism in a disastrous military event in the beginning of the Crimean War. The six hundred soldiers of the Light Cavalry Brigade were moving forward in order to execute Lord Raglan’s order to defend the Russians from seizing their guns. But that was a blunder. As a result, most of the soldiers were killed in the fight. Despite the huge losses, Tennyson as well as some of contemporary authors glorified the courage and heroism of the soldiers in that war (Landow 23). Quite contrary to Tennyson’s stance about the British involvement in the Crimean War, Owen’s poem deals with dark aspects of the chemical attack of Germany during the First World War. The overwhelming massacre was induced by the use of chlorine gas, which “is a powerful irritant that can inflict damage to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. At high concentrations and prolonged exposure it can cause death by asphyxiation” (Romano 23). The lethal effect of this gas on the health of the soldiers is further described by Sidell, Urbanetti, and Smith as follows: Internal and external bleeding and attacked the bronchial tubes, stripping off the mucous membrane. This was extremely painful and most soldiers had to be strapped to their beds. It usually took a person four to five weeks to die of mustard gas exposure. (4) Though both Tennyson and Owen failed to uphold war as a reality that still exists and though some people do not want it, Owen’s portrayal of war as a painful reality obviously provokes the readers to be more cautious while deciding whether human societies need war. On the other hand, Tennyson’s idealistic view of war can instigate any group, community and society to involve into war since people who are willing to fight can easily establish their own ideals. Amazingly, it is true that Tennyson’s poem can be used to warm up soldiers in each of the parties involved in a war. The loyalty, the obedience and the courage, which the six hundred soldiers of the Light Brigade of the British Army show against the Russian soldiers in the War of Crimea, could be exemplary for even the Nazi soldiers. Therefore, Tennyson’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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