The World War 1 of 1914 is the cause of major changes throughout the world, and is often referred to as the First Total War due its nature of involving almost all the nations around the globe in an orgy of hatred, bloodshed and a battle for survival. It did not only impact the soldiers at the battle front, but also had profound effects on the citizens at home, and hence it managed to involve the entire society into the devastating warfare or other related activities (Mayson, 2009). The WW1 had drastic implications on the psychological condition of the soldiers and the citizens alike, where everyone was struck by loss of life of family, friends, and relatives, leaving the mind in a state of mental trauma, which made readjustment into the post-war society extremely difficult for all, making their lives unstable, socially, physically and mentally (Mayson, 2009).
LIFE OF SOLDIERS. The soldiers in the WW1 were ensnared in an environment entirely cut off from their daily lives, an alien atmosphere which was a self contained nightmare for all, obliged to adhere to duties, and following of orders that certainly led to death, but yet the traditional notions of patriotism, duty, honor and submission to authority instigated them to proceed with due endurance. In the trenches where death was illogical and uninvited, the soldiers were aloof from the real world and clutched in the dull insanity where everything was lost in the sheer vagueness of life, and some sunk deep into depression due to the prevailing
conditions- inhumane, unhygienic and hopeless. Soldiers felt isolated and believed that those who were not at warfront do not understand its implications on the human mind, and at times believe that the civilians do not care and hence the soldiers became bitter.The trenches were full of smell, of rotten bodies and men who haven’t washed for a long time, there were no facilities, just the odor of poison gas, rotting sandbags, stale mud and meat, cigarettes and food, in addition the rats devoured on the grotesquely disfigured bodies of dead soldiers. Diseases spread, such as Trench fever, caused by lice which were a constant problem in the trenches. Furthermore, the men suffered from shell shock, simply known as mental breakdowns due to constant bombardment (HubPages, 2010).LIFE OF CIVILIANS.The First Great War is usually regarded as a war between the soldiers at the warfront, but since it harnessed the resources of every nation, regardless of their ownership, it was vastly considered as a war that affected all. Civilians contributed by working in factories which produced ammunition, uniforms, guns, tanks and other war related substances. Almost all families had members fighting at war fronts, thus leading to mental involvement and fear of losing the member. The journalists and clergymen had the role of opinion formers hence they were affected by the stories of the aggrieved. Furthermore, when raids occurred and food rationing was initiated, everyone contributed and thus became involved in the war somehow (Craddick-Adams Peter, 2005). The civilians were most profoundly affected by the industrialization of wars, where all concentration was directed towards supporting war the frontline demands, the market mechanism collapsed and the economy was under strict governmental control. Efficiency of food production was increased to prevent shortages, in addition food consumption was reduced overall and restaurants limited their serving sizes. Furthermore, the absence of men and the labor demand led to female employment, which empowered women and gave them independence like never before. This was to affect the society greatly in the post war era as it accelerated the equality between the genders. During the war, due to drastic loss of lives, the army ran out of adequate number of soldiers, as a result enlisting opened for able-bodied men and the Government’s encouraged them to join army and support their respective nations, hence all became involved in war efforts. Life was miserable, stagnant and strictly adhered to State orders (History Web, 2010).CONCLUSION.This essay focused on the aspects of World War 1 focusing on two different centers- The Soldiers and The Civilians. It is natural to wars that the entire society suffers from mental trauma of losing the loved ones, the economy suffers a downturn and the social order is uprooted. Apart from these obvious impacts, the civilians are aloof from the effects of the hardcore frontline trench conditions, which are suffered by the Soldiers who therefore feel isolated from their civilian counterpart. However, the WW1 nevertheless involved everyone in some manner and thus had its implications on the lives of both, the soldiers who fought at the frontlines and the civilians who supported their nation’s army.