How do the personal histories of WW1 soldiers Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen contribute to their different perspectives of war generally?Both authors were soldiers in World War I, and their two...
How do the personal histories of WW1 soldiers Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen contribute to their different perspectives of war generally?
Both authors were soldiers in World War I, and their two poems approach war from different perspectives, one idealizing war, the other speaking of the utter devastation thereof. Both authors' poems were written before the war was over. And both authors died while in military service.
Wilfred Owen's personal history had a spiritual dimension which permeated some of his poems with theology and religious atmosphere (orizons,candles,bells etc in Anthem For Doomed Youth.) His parents had thought he might enter the Anglican priesthood. It also partly explains his fixation in his writings with the theological justification for war. He had been a lay assistant to a vicar. Despite his intensifying pacifism however, Owen was honourable and brave in his Christian? duty and insisted on going back to the front to speak through his writing as one of the men. Sadly, he was then killed.
Rupert Brooke, on the other hand, had a very different, more affluent personal history. He attended elite and prominent public schools such as Rugby and his family benefitted from their acquaintance with influential friends such as the Asquiths of Downing Street. He and many other privileged young gentlemen of England's shires could almost hardly wait for the glory of fighting for its preservation so that 'nobleness walks in our ways again.' Even Brooke however, was to be deeply shocked by the dirty pain and suffering that was the First World War. However, we will never know what kind of bitter satire he may have written, had he survived longer. Most people remember his poem 'The Soldier' best
'...there's some corner of a foreign field that is forever England.' Thus the legacy of his poetry only reflects his early zeal for 'the sacrifice' for the privileged, flowery shires as he saw them, from a rich young man's perspective.