Siegfried Sassoon Questions and Answers

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Analyze the poem "They" by Siegfried Sassoon.

An analysis of the poem "They" by Siegfried Sassoon might focus on the historical context of the poem and on the poet's personal experience in warfare. The voice of the soldier in this poem is ironically dismissed in favor of the romanticized notions of war and duty.

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After spending some time serving in World War I and even being awarded a medal for his valor, Siegfried Sassoon wrote a letter to the war department which vehemently proclaimed his protests regarding the war. Sassoon was a poet before the war started, so after his experience, he used poetry as a platform for delivering his anti-war sentiments, which are conveyed in this poem.

This poem is an examination of the true costs of war. While wars are often presented to the public as a means of maintaining honor and the soldiers are frequently lauded for their great and death-defying abilities, the reality is that there are great costs to these young men who are fortunate enough to return home from war efforts.

The title points to a third-person "They," yet the perspective of the narrator is first person, referenced as "us" in the very first line. From the opening, then, the narrator draws a line between "us" and "they" and between fantasy and reality. "They" send the young soldiers to battle,...

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