Master David Hunter Essay

Submitted By dhunter642
Words: 2134
Pages: 9

How does the writer present his thoughts and feelings towards the war?
How far is the extract similar to and different from your wider reading about WW1? You should consider form, structure and language as well as subject matter.

The writer of this extract opens and can recollect exact dates, this in itself could give insight into his feelings about the war, he could remember the dates due to them being memorable for reasons he goes on to explain. The opening paragraph explains the time and it is after the battle at Vimy Ridge, which can be viewed as a pivotal battle in the turning of the war as the victory was partly due to the failure of the German sixth army to properly apply the new German defensive doctrine. The victory could have been the reason the reason “everyone was in such good spirits” around the camp, even a month after the battle; it would have been such a big morale boost for the soldiers. This can be interpreted as the writer seeing the war as motivational, nothing remotely slanderous toward the war can be seen so far. The writer explains that there was little to do but “picking up an odd piece of paper or two”. The soldiers must have kept their quarters clean in periods of rest on the front line, these opportunities came thick and fast as he later describes orders his company receives to “Pack up immediately, Pack up immediately!” This shows that in war it can all change in an instance and this occurrence happens within a matter of hours and the writer gives the impression that he wasn’t fazed by this, as if it wasn’t a one off. This in contrast with Wilfred Owens poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est” can show how similar language devices can be used for the same effect. As in Owens poem when the mustard gas hits them, someone shouts “Gas! Gas! Quick boys!” the use of exclamatory phrase in both shows a quick change in events and the urgency of situations like this. There is still no tone of annoyance or aggravation towards the war in this extract, his actions show that he was willing and able to fight when and where he was needed.

The writer then goes on to explain that “after dinner most of the men settled down in the hut to sleep or write letters”. The men wrote a lot of letters home as it was the only way to keep in contact, it was also done daily for the most part as things could change quickly. There is also the sibilance in the quotation which gives the reader a sleepy or placid feeling, this further exacerbates the feeling so far that nothing has happened like we might expect, there is no action, only routine, daily actions. This is also emphasised by the enjembant giving the continuation feeling that everything just carries on peacefully, without interruption. The writer then tells us that he “happened to be near the officers hut” and the “company commander stuck his head out of the a window (he was having a bath) and told me to let him know at once if any message came from battalion headquarters” This highlights the hierarchy in the war to a great extent. The writer tells this in an almost humorous way which shows he thought it was somewhat of a joke that the common foot soldiers were roughing it out in the trenches while he took a bath, and also had the audacity to issue orders whilst still in the bath. This in contrast with Siegfried Sassoon’s poem “the General” gives a clear indication as to how the soldiers felt about the commands from “incompetent swine”. As Sassoon shows in his poem, he also fought in the war and this shows how the soldiers felt, he uses bitter sarcasm in the poem to show their discontent. As one of the soldiers in his poem refers to the General as “a Cheery old card” after they meet him on the way to the front. This correlation between both soldiers opinion of the chain of command can show a universal feeling of discontent towards the men in command. The writer continues to say that he “did not think much about the matter” as he did not understand the severity of the situation