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B. De Luca, D. J. Ellis, P. Pace, S.

Ranzoli

Books and Bookmarks


COMPLEMENTARY AND LINK MODULES

Theme: War

LOESCHER EDITORE
De Luca, Ellis, Pace, Ranzoli - Books and Bookmarks, cod. 2632 Loescher Editore

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De Luca, Ellis, Pace, Ranzoli - Books and Bookmarks, cod. 2632 Loescher Editore

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

Beyond Literature
MUSIC War Requiem: Dies Irae (Futility)
MODULE

23

1
STE P

World War I: Investigating and Presenting Themes 2


Patriotic Views of War
Collecting Data
Document 2, 5

One A

3 3 4 6 7 8

MODU LE

2
STE P

War: Responsibility and Choice

25

RUPERT BROOKE The Soldier


Document 1, 5

One

The Beginning of the Century 26


26 28 29

Presenting Findings

THOMAS HARDY The Man He Killed SIEGFRIED SASSOON The General


STUDY BOX: Responses from the First Half of the Century

STUDY BOX: The Idealisation of War

STE P

Two A

Realistic Views of War


Collecting Data

STE P

9 9 11 12 13 13 15

Two

The Mid-Century

30 31 32 34 37 39

SIEGFRIED SASSOON They


Document, 10

KEITH DOUGLAS Vergissmeinnicht ADRIAN HENRI Autobiography PENELOPE LIVELY from Going Back
Text one,

Presenting Findings

STUDY BOX: Anti-War Attitudes

35

Text two,

36

W. H. AUDEN Refugee Blues


STUDY BOX: Responses from the Mid-Century

STE P

Three A

The Futility of War


Analysing Responses

STE P

Three

ISAAC ROSENBERG Returning, We Hear the Larks 14 WILFRED OWEN Futility


Document 1, 16 Document 2, 18

The Second Half of the 20th Century

BOB DYLAN from masters of war ALICE WALKER from By the Light of My Fathers Smile
STUDY BOX: Responses from the Second Half

41 42 44 45 47

B
STUDY BOX:

Organising Data for Presentation 18 Waiting for the End: Rosenberg and Owen 19 21

of the 20th Century

Assignment Giving an Oral Report

Assignment Giving an Oral Report

De Luca, Ellis, Pace, Ranzoli - Books and Bookmarks, cod. 2632 Loescher Editore

TA B L E O F C O N T E N TS

Beyond Literature
VISUAL ART Henry Moore, Platform Scene

MODULE 1

GET READY FOR TESTING INTERNAL CERTIFICATION Step One, 59 Step Two, 59 NES (Nuovo Esame di Stato)

59 59 59
Step Three, 60

48

60 61 61 61
Step Three, 62

MODULE 2

GET READY FOR TESTING

Personal File
QUICK REFERENCE

The Thematic Approach to Text The Synchronic Thematic Approach The Diachronic Thematic Approach

51 51 52 52 53 53 54 54 55 55 56 57

INTERNAL CERTIFICATION Step One, 61 Step Two, 61 NES (Nuovo Esame di Stato) KEYS

MODULE 1

Review Extension Get Ready for Testing

62 63 63 63 64

REVIEW EXTENSION

from Statement to Commanding Officer by S. Sassoon

Appendix
CROSS-CURRICULAR CARDS

MODULE 2

REVIEW EXTENSION

from Testament of Youth by V. Brittain

World War I (1914-18) World War II (1939-45) Italian Literary Views of the Great War: Giuseppe Ungaretti

66 66 67 68

Audiocassettes and music cassette of Books and Bookmarks

IV
De Luca, Ellis, Pace, Ranzoli - Books and Bookmarks, cod. 2632 Loescher Editore

M1 WORLD WAR I: INVESTIGATING AND PRESENTING THEMES

TO THE TEACHER
The material in this booklet (two Modules) is from volume 1C of the main Course, Books and Bookmarks. It can be used by those who have adopted the compact version of Books and Bookmarks or any other Course book. This booklet uses a thematic approach to explore literary texts on the subject of war and its impact on the people involved, often combining the thematic approach with the contextual or historical approach. It contains two Modules (M1 and M2) of three Steps each: M1 focuses on World War I, while M2 looks at a cross section of responses. You can decide to use the Modules as they are presented in the booklet or reorganize the Steps into new learning itineraries. The booklet can act as an extension of M4 of Books and Bookmarks, Volume 1, Compact Edition or it can easily link up with Modules dealing with genres, issues and themes in the 20th century from Books and Bookmarks, Volume 2, Compact Edition. It can also be used independently and, to facilitate this, an Appendix contains all the literary texts you may need to refer to, over and above those analysed in detail. The booklet is not accompanied by a Teachers Guide: for keys to the activities, teachers can download appropriate sections of the Books and Bookmarks Teachers Guide from the Loescher website www.loescher.it/booksandbookmarks, or refer to the printed Guide of the main volume of Books and Bookmarks. The booklet does, however, contain self-study materials for review, extension and test preparation purposes.

TO THE STUDENT
The learning itinerary the booklet outlines develops through two Modules. The first looks at the work of the poets and artists of World War I who altogether hold up a vivid mirror to their times. The second introduces you to a varied collection of texts that reflect mans experience of war in the 20th century. Contemporary paintings, posters or photographs provide a powerful visual insight that support or expand the content of the texts, while music in M1 helps you understand the enormous impact war had and continues to have on man. You may refer to the last section of the booklet called Personal File for materials and activities which can facilitate your learning process.

De Luca, Ellis, Pace, Ranzoli - Books and Bookmarks, cod. 2632 Loescher Editore

MODULE

World War I: Investigating and Presenting Themes


This Module will take you through the work of the poets and artists who were involved in the Great War. Year by year, from the outbreak of the conflict in 1914 to the final cease-fire in 1918, the texts record their hopes, fears and horrors. You will analyse a number of poems and link them to contemporary pictures and documents tracing the development of war poetry.

LEVEL TYPE OF MODULE PREREQUISITES

basic
thematic, contextual and interdisciplinary basic knowledge of the conventions of poetry basic notion of theme and how to identify it an introduction to the language of visual art

OBJ ECTIVES

learn to collect clues about World War I themes from literary texts and documents identify responses to World War I learn how to organise and present information about theme

M AT E R I A L S

POETRY

The Soldier (1914) by Rupert Brooke They (1916) by Siegfried Sassoon Returning, We Hear the Larks (1917) by Isaac Rosenberg Futility (1918) by Wilfred Owen The Veterans Farewell, a recruiting poster, Great Britain 1914-18 Your Countrys Call, a recruiting poster, Great Britain 1914-18 from Remembering We Forget (1979) by Hilda D. Spear We Are Making a New World (1918), a painting by Paul Nash from Wilfred Owen: Collected Letters (1967) by Wilfred Owen Preface to The Collected Poems (1918) by Wilfred Owen

DOCUMENTS

TIME LINKS

approx. 20 hours Siegfried Sassoon (M2) Music, War Requiem CROSS-CURRICULAR CARDS: World War I ; Italian Literary Views of the Great War: Giuseppe Ungaretti (APPENDIX)
BEYOND LITERATURE:

LEAD IN

The Vocabulary of War


You can easily talk about the theme of war in your own language, but do you have the necessary vocabulary to talk about it in English?

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De Luca, Ellis, Pace, Ranzoli - Books and Bookmarks, cod. 2632 Loescher Editore

M1 WORLD WAR I: INVESTIGATING AND PRESENTING THEMES

1 Pool your ideas to build up a range of war vocabulary. Complete the spidergram below by adding some more words. The photograph may give you some ideas.

refugee

enemy

rifle

PEOPLE

ARMS

WAR

EQUIPMENT
E. Hudson, 1988

BATTLES

mess-tin

helmet

front-line

trench

STEP

One

Patriotic Views of War


OBJ ECTIVES In Step One you will: collect data about patriotic responses to war organise and present your findings using a visual organiser

At the end of July, 1914, Europe was plunged into World War I. Great Britain entered the war on August 5 ( CROSS-CURRICULAR CARD: World War I, APPENDIX, p. 66). Many young men enlisted in a mood of optimistic excitement.

Collecting Data
You are going to read a sonnet which was published in December 1914, four months after the outbreak of the war. It was written by Rupert Brooke, the first of a number of soldier-poets who wrote during the conflict.

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T H E M E : WA R

RUPERT BROOKE

(1887-1915)

B I O G R A P H Y, p. 8

The Soldier (1914)


1 Read the poem. In line 1 the speaker/soldier considers that he might die for his homeland.
a b c How does he view death? How does he view England? Consider the devices he uses to describe it. What feelings dominate the poem?

The Soldier
If I should die, think only this of me: That theres some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed1; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam2, A body of Englands, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home. And think, this heart, all evil shed away 3, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of 4 friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
I refers to

Why richer?

her refers to

Whose heart?

10

Her refers back to

2 Consider the sort of words the poet has chosen to use.


a How would you describe his language? Give reasons. soft b colloquial heroic bitter indignant

What about the sound aspect of the poem? Write down the rhyme scheme and say if other sound devices are used (alliteration, assonance, etc.).

3 On the basis of what you have found out so far, say:


a b what the poets attitude to war is and what the theme of the poem is; why he doesnt mention any of the dreadful experiences soldiers had to face on the Western Front (to answer the question you should refer to the poets biography on p. 8).

1. concealed, hidden (nascosta). 2. to roam, to explore (da percorrere).

3. shed away, discarded, removed (liberatasi). 4. learnt of, learnt from (appreso da).

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M1 WORLD WAR I: INVESTIGATING AND PRESENTING THEMES

You are going to consider some visual and written documents which show how the poem The Soldier fits in with aspects of the historical background.

Document 1
In the early stage of war the government launched an effective recruiting campaign under the guidance of the War Secretary, Lord Kitchener. Thousands of compelling posters like the two shown here were put up on any available space. As enlisting was not compulsory, the object was to persuade the passer-by to enlist.

1 Look carefully at the two posters.


Note down what you find in common between the poem by Brooke and the posters. Mention the aspect of the posters you wish to refer to and the word/line/phrase from the poem you associate with them.

A Scottish soldier points to an appealing rural scene thatched cottages, colourful gardens and hedgerows which could be threatened by the enemy.

An old soldier shakes the hand of a young soldier. People who have already enlisted can be seen in the background.

Document 2
From Hilda D. Spear, Remembering We Forget, 1979

To understand why people had such a glorified view of war, you can turn to a background study of the poetry of World War I. The one on the opposite page explains how war was viewed in 1914.

1 Read the text.


a b In one sentence, summarise what war meant to the men of 1914. Which lines from the poem best echo what the document states?

Australian War Memorial

Oxford University Press

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In what ways did the romance of war manifest itself between 1914 and 1918? First and foremost was the unwonted excitement and exhilaration of living dangerously, of pushing the old life behind and starting afresh; secondly there was an idealistic patriotism which, viewed widely, embraced the whole of England, or, viewed more narrowly, showed itself in the love of a village or a county, or in the pride in a regiment; thirdly there was a belief in the glory and honour of acquitting oneself well in battle and this belief culminated in the idea that death in battle was the most fitting and honourable end to life.

Presenting Findings
You should now be in a position to draw some preliminary conclusions on your thematic analysis so far. You need to organise your findings in a meaningful way in order to present them to your teacher and to your class.

1 Follow the instructions to complete the graphic organiser below.


a b Your analysis has guided you to answer this central question: how is war viewed in the poem and in the posters? Write your answer in the large rectangle on the right. As your answer derives from the sonnet by Brooke ( p. 4) and from the recruiting posters ( p. 5), their titles appear in the smaller rectangles at the top and bottom of the organiser. Now record supporting quotations from the poem and supporting details from the posters on the relevant dotted lines. Does the use of colour signal contrast or agreement of views in the poem and the documents?

Early poetry R. Brooke, The Soldier

.............................................................

.................................................................................

.....................................................................................................

The Great War: the initial months


..........................................................................................................

War is regarded

as

.................................................

.............................................................. ..............................................................

..................................................................................

..............................................................

...........................................................

Recruiting posters The Veterans Farewell Your Countrys Call

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M1 WORLD WAR I: INVESTIGATING AND PRESENTING THEMES

STUDY BOX CHECK

The Idealisation of War


The card below focuses on key aspects of The Soldier, but it is not complete. Fill in the blanks using the words and phrases given below in jumbled order. solemn generous sacrifice declamatory patriotic the initial months of war 1914

POEM: The Soldier AUTHOR: Rupert Brooke died in 1) ........................... . DATE OF COMPOSITION: composed in 2) ........................... . CHOICE OF SUBJECT MATTER: the soldier regards his death as an act of love for his country described as a 3) ........................... mother. VIEW OF WAR: war is seen as a glorious 4) ........................... , as a means to gain immortality. ATTITUDE TO WAR: 5) ........................... and sentimental. TONE: 6) ........................... . TYPE OF POEM: sonnet. LANGUAGE: 7) ........................... and traditionally poetic in its choice of words.

AND LEARN

World War I produced remarkable poems by poets involved as fighting men in the conflict. No other conflict produced such an outstanding bulk of poetry. Yet the texts were written out of different historical situations and contrasting personal experiences. At the beginning when soldiers had not gone through the most dreadful experiences, the poets viewed war as a noble cause as is the case with the poem The Soldier (1914), which was written in the first flush of enthusiasm by a man who had not yet been to the front. War seemed an exciting experience, an opportunity to show ones patriotism and a means to gain fame and honour. The poets role was that of glorifying war and persuading people that it was a just cause. The choice of words and the sound of the text perfectly suited this romantic view of the war. The words are smooth and sweet, the sounds are musical, the images convey an idealised view of the English countryside. War poetry at this stage was in harmony with the nations war efforts as the official propaganda posters of the period show. The pictorial propaganda of the Great War was perhaps the most extensive propaganda for political purposes in history. The poster Britons The poster was printed in September [Kitchener] wants You alone ran to over five 1914. It proved so successful that it was million copies. repeated in many different versions.

Imperial War Museum

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T H E M E : WA R

BIOGRAPHY

RUPERT BROOKE (1887-1915)


upert Brooke was well-known as a poet before 1914 when he joined the Navy. He saw little action as he died of blood poisoning early in 1915 on his way to Gallipoli. His early death on war service turned him into the symbol of the young hero. His five war sonnets, of which The Soldier is one,

achieved immediate fame as they caught the patriotic and idealistic mood of the moment before the British people realized the full horrors of war. War is not seen as a cruel, dreadful experience and death in war is a noble end. Later on a reaction set in against his rather sentimental attitude to war and his fine words and smooth rhythms.

P E R S O N A L F I L E : G e t R e a d y f o r Te s t i n g , p . 5 9

STEP

Two

Realistic Views of War


OBJ ECTIVES In Step Two you will: collect data about a realistic view of war in a poem compare an artistic response to a literary response

The war soon ceased to be regarded as a great adventure when the enthusiasm of the opening period turned into mass slaughter. People had believed the conflict was going to last a few months only. In fact, it lasted years.

Imperial War Museum

Harold Sandys Williamson, A German Attack, oil on canvas, London, Imperial War Museum, 1918.

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M1 WORLD WAR I: INVESTIGATING AND PRESENTING THEMES

Collecting Data
The most important war poets were all serving soldiers who reacted to what they saw, felt and experienced.

SIEGFRIED SASSOON
They (1916)

(1886-1967)

B I O G R A P H Y, p. 13

You are going to read a poem by another war poet, Siegfried Sassoon and see how the view of the war has radically changed from Brookes.

1 The poem consists of two stanzas spoken by different people, yet they have the same
structure: a general statement is followed by supporting reasons. a b c d Using two different colours, underline the general statements and box the person who utters it. Number the four supporting reasons for each general statement. Which line in the second stanza in a sense belongs to the first? Why? Who does the pronoun They of the title refer to?

They
The Bishop tells us: When the boys come back They will not be the same; for1 theyll have fought In a just2 cause; they lead the last attack On Anti-Christ3; their comrades blood has bought New right to breed4 an honourable race, They have challenged5 Death and dared6 him face to face. Were none of us the same the boys reply. For George lost both his legs; and Bills stone blind7 Poor Jims shot through the lungs and like to die8 And Berts gone syphilitic: youll not find 9 A chap whos served that hasnt found some change. And the Bishop said: The ways of God are strange!
us refers to the same as when? their refers to him refers to

George is one of

10

served where?

2 The two stanzas represent two points of view on war and its effect on soldiers.
a b Explain each point of view. Consider whether they are based on facts or opinions.

1. for, because (perch). 2. just, morally right (giusta). 3. Anti-Christ, one who denies or opposes Christ (Anticristo). In St Pauls Letters and in the Apocalypse both in the New Testament Anti-Christ is identified with evil and Satan. 4. to breed, to generate (generare).

5. challenged, called to fight (sfidato). In St Pauls Letters Christ challenges Death and defies it. Death is a synonym for Anti-Christ. 6. dared, defied (affrontato). 7. stone blind, completely blind (cieco come una talpa). 8. like to die, likely to die ( probabile che muoia). 9. chap, informal word for man, boy.

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T H E M E : WA R

In the poem, the Bishop and the soldiers use two different varieties of language or registers. Registers are characterised for the most part by distinctive vocabulary but may involve other linguistic features as well.

3 Analyse the register used by the Bishop, then move on to the language of the boys.
a For each register consider the use of: nouns (e.g. abstract or concrete, formal or informal; the use of proper names) adjectives (e.g. frequent or infrequent, referring to emotive, physical, psychological, evaluative aspects) figures of speech (e.g. present or absent; the function/s they serve) formal or colloquial language. Then summarise the features of the language of the Bishop and the boys. Go through the contrasting pairs of adjectives given below and choose the ones you think most appropriate. Give reasons for your choices. factual or subjective descriptive or evaluative figurative or literal general or specific formal or colloquial high-flown or down-to-earth idealistic or realistic The poet has juxtaposed two different registers. What are the effects and purposes of this juxtaposition?

Document
We Are Making a New World (1918)
by Paul Nash (1889-1946)

The bitter view of war the poem by Sassoon expresses has its visual counterpart in the painting by Paul Nash who had direct experience of the war ( p. 11). He had been appointed an official war artist in World War I by the British government to record his impression of the conflict. He could, therefore, be a direct witness to the war during the time he spent at the front-line.

1 The picture on p. 11 shows a field after a battle.


a Complete the list of the elements which make up the painting. 1 sky and rising ...................................... 2 line of red ..................................... b 3 burnt stumps of ..................................... 4 shell craters filled with .....................................

The painter creates a sense of space through depth. Consider which elements of the painting you can see: 1 in the foreground 2 in the middleground 3 in the background

The painting gives the impression of depth and space, which is not really there at all. The sense of depth is created by perspective.

2 Complete the paragraph below. It describes the way Nash builds up the perspective.
The shell craters in the foreground look 1) ...................................... and are painted in greater detail: you can even see the 2) ...................................... they are filled with. In the middleground and background you can only see undulating 3) ...................................... on the land. The lines are not the same distance apart. They get 4) ...................................... together as they recede from the viewer. The trees look 5) ...................................... than the hills. Yet they look smaller as they recede from the viewer.

3 Focus on Nashs use of colour which expresses feelings and contains a wealth of symbolic significance. a Is the painting monochromatic or polychromatic?
b c Where does the colour look darker? Why? Bearing in mind that the painting represents a landscape devastated by war, can you think of a reason why the artist has emphasised the red of the hills?

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M1 WORLD WAR I: INVESTIGATING AND PRESENTING THEMES

4 Look at the title.


a b c Who does we refer to? What does the expression new world make you think of? What is the new world like in the painting? One form of irony is that of saying something which means the opposite. How does irony apply to the painting?

5 The poem They


by Sassoon juxtaposes two contrasting views of war. Which of the views does the painting support?

Imperial War Museum

Paul Nash, We Are Making a New World, oil on canvas, 71.1 91.4 cm, London, Imperial War Museum, 1918.

Presenting Findings
Now use the painting by Paul Nash to present your conclusions about Sassoons poem. Using a transparency, superimpose meaningful quotations onto the painting as suggested below. Be prepared to justify your decisions.

They: George lost both his legs (l. 8)

They: new right to breed an honourable race (l. 5) We Are Making a New World

In order to understand better what Sassoon and Nash have represented in their works, it may be useful to know something about the historical background. It can shed light on both texts ( CROSS-CURRICULAR CARD: World War I, APPENDIX, p. 66).

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T H E M E : WA R

STUDY BOX CHECK

Anti-War Attitudes
Concentrate on the poem They by Sassoon and prepare a card similar to the one you have completed for Brooke ( in the same order. p. 7). Use the same headings

AND LEARN

When Sassoon wrote They in 1916, he had been through the atrocious experiences of trench warfare and war had ceased to be regarded as a just cause, an honourable adventure. The soldier-poets who endured the horrors of trench warfare wrote to express their reactions and let the civilians at home know what war was actually like. Sassoons poems are realistic and aggressive: the physical reality of death is brought home through a language which is down-to-earth and colloquial. The musical, smooth language of early war poetry was not fit to render a horrifying experience and poets looked for new means of expression. The poets task as reflected in the poems is to express the truth of war through a language the world could understand. Sassoon stresses the gap between those who fight and those who dont the higher ranks which include generals, politicians, bishops, and businessmen who want the war to continue and who send the boys to die at the front while they themselves die safely in bed. The war artists express the same shattering view of the war and take on the same role. Their paintings give visual expression to the world that war has created: a world of craters left by the bombs, of mud, of burnt out trees, of disfigured corpses. They, too, often use the weapon of irony to express their disillusionment and disgust at a war which was needlessly prolonged.
C. R. W. Nevinson (British painter, 1889-1946), Troops Resting, London, The Trustees of the Imperial War Museum, 1916. In Nevinsons words war was dominated by machines and men were mere cogs in the mechanism.

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Imperial War Museum

M1 WORLD WAR I: INVESTIGATING AND PRESENTING THEMES

BIOGRAPHIES

SIEGFRIED SASSOON (1886-1967)

iegfried Sassoon was educated at Cambridge University and served with great courage in France during World War I. He wrote his war poetry at the front describing the horror of the trenches in a direct, colloquial language. He chose to oppose the war publicly and was one of the first poets to express contempt for the generals and politicians. He was also one of the few poets to survive the war. His first volume of war poetry, The Old Huntsman, appeared in May 1917 and a second volume, Counter-Attack, in 1918.

PAUL NASH (1889-1946)


hile serving in World War I, he was wounded and worked subsequently as an official war artist creating pictures of the devastating effects of war on the countryside. In the 1930s, he was part of a group of avant-garde British artists who had been influenced by Surrealism. In World War II he was again an official war artist, producing memorable pictures of the conflict.

P E R S O N A L F I L E : G e t R e a d y f o r Te s t i n g , p . 5 9

STEP

Three The Futility of War


OBJ ECTIVES In Step Three you will: analyse other responses to war in two poems and two documents learn how to draw conclusions and organise data for presentation.

As the war went on, more and more soldiers experienced on the Western Front the horrors and discomforts of trench warfare.

Analysing Responses
Lets go on exploring literature that evolved around the issue of World War I with its own events, settings, characters and themes.

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T H E M E : WA R

ISAAC ROSENBERG (1890-1918)


Returning, We Hear the Larks (1917)

B I O G R A P H Y, p. 20

The next poem you are going to consider is by the poet Isaac Rosenberg, another of the serving poets of the period. Its title sets the poem in place and time. The poet and his fellow soldiers are returning to their camp from a night-time military action (probably a night patrol) all the patrols were to be back in the trenches before sunrise to avoid being seen in broad daylight by the Germans. You will see that even though the poet and his fellow soldiers seem to have left war behind, it remains a haunting presence.

1 Read the poem.


a b Underline in the text the words and phrases which convey the presence of war. What vision of war do they suggest?

Returning, We Hear the Larks


Sombre the night is. And though we have our lives, we know 2 What sinister threat lurks there. Dragging3 these anguished limbs, we only know 4 This poison-blasted track opens on our camp On a little safe sleep. But hark ! joy joy strange joy. 6 Lo ! Heights of night ringing with unseen larks. Music showering our upturned listning faces.
10
5 1

The threat of...

Why anguished?

Whose faces?

15

Death could drop from the dark As easily as song But song only dropped, Like a blind mans dreams on the sand By dangerous tides, Like a girls dark hair for she dreams no ruin lies there, Or her kisses where a serpent hides.
4. poison-blasted, destroyed by poisonous explosions (devastato da esplosioni velenose). 5. hark, old form for listen (ascolta). 6. Lo, interjection to signal something surprising (ecco!).

1. sombre, dark, gloomy (cupa). 2. lurks, waits secretly ready to strike ( in agguato). 3. dragging, moving with difficulty (trascinando con fatica).

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M1 WORLD WAR I: INVESTIGATING AND PRESENTING THEMES

Dawn is close and suddenly the soldiers hear the larks their song brings joy to the exhausted men.

2 The poet describes the joy he and the soldiers feel.


a b Why does he use the adjective strange (line 7) to qualify his feelings? The poet introduces similes to describe the joy he and his fellows feel. 1 Here are some observations about the similes for you to complete. The song dropped like a 1) .......................... mans dreams beside 2) .......................... tides: though the dreams are dreamt in dangerous situations, the blind man feels 3) .......................... because he cannot see the ocean and its tides. The song dropped like the dark 4) .......................... of an attractive dreaming girl who feels joy because she is unaware of the threatening evil which is waiting to 5) .......................... she doesnt know that someday her 6) .......................... may deceive a lover. 2 What do the similes emphasise?

The poem uses free verse: there is no regular stanzaic division, no regular rhyme scheme or stress pattern. The absence of traditional elements is compensated for by the following sound devices: occasional perfect rhyme, internal rhyme, alliteration, assonance, and repetition of words at line ends.

3 Find one example for each of the above-mentioned devices.

WILFRED OWEN (1893-1918)


Futility (1918)
The next poem was composed by Wilfred Owen in 1918, but published only in 1920. It is about an unknown soldier who died while fighting in France in World War I. Before reading the poem, be sure you know the meaning of its title.

B I O G R A P H Y, p. 20

1 The poem takes the reader through three levels


of time and space: 1 the here/now of the dead soldier 2 his past life 3 the creation. Quote the words and/or the lines related to each.

Frank Dobson, In the Trenches, London, Imperial War Museum, 1916.

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Imperial War Museum

T H E M E : WA R

Futility
Move him into the sun Gently its touch awoke him once, At home, whispering of fields unsown1. Always it woke him, even in France, Until this morning and this snow. If anything might rouse him now The kind old sun will know. Think how it wakes the seeds, Woke, once, the clays of a cold star2. Are limbs3, so dear-achieved, are sides, Full-nerved still warm too hard to stir4? Was it for this the clay5 grew tall? O what made fatuous6 sunbeams toil7 To break earths sleep at all?
Move, who is the speaker addressing? him refers to

Where is home?

What will the sun know?

it refers to once, when? Why still warm? for this, for what?

10

2 The sun is the element that connects the individual to the creation.
a b c What is the poets attitude towards this element? Which word in the poem repeats the idea of the title? What is the theme of the poem?

3 The poem has fourteen lines. Is it a sonnet? Substantiate your answer.

TH E M U S I C: War Requiem, p. 23

Document 1
A Letter from the Trenches
from H. Owen and S. Bell (eds), Wilfred Owen: Collected Letters, 1967

Owen questions the existence and the creation of the world on the evidence of one death. But behind that death lie thousands of futile pointless deaths he had been a witness to as the letters to his family vividly report. The letter to his mother is about his firsthand experience on the battlefield ( p. 17).

1 Read and identify the major feelings the letter on p. 17 expresses. Give reasons for your
statements.

1. 2. 3. 4.

unsown, where no seeds have been scattered (non seminati). a cold star, the Earth. limbs, legs, arms (membra). stir, move, wake (svegliare).

5. clay, in the Bible, the substance from which man was created (argilla). 6. fatuous, futile, absurd (vani). 7. toil, work hard (faticare duramente).

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M1 WORLD WAR I: INVESTIGATING AND PRESENTING THEMES

10

20

30

January 16, 1917 I can see no excuse for deceiving you about these last 4 days. I have suffered seventh hell. I have not been at the front. I have been in front of it. I held an advanced post1, that is, a dug-out2 in the middle of No Mans Land. We had a march of 3 miles over shelled3 road, then nearly 3 along a flooded trench. After that we came to where the trenches had been blown flat out and had to go over 4 the top . It was of course dark, too dark, and the ground was not mud, not sloppy mud, but an octopus5 of sucking clay 6, 3, 4, and 5 feet deep, relieved only by craters full of water. Men have been known to drown in them. Many stuck in the mud and only got on by leaving their waders7, equipment, and in some cases their clothes. High explosives were dropping all round, and machine-guns 8 9 spluttered every few minutes. But it was so dark that even the German flares did not reveal us. Three quarters dead, I mean each of us 3/4 dead, we reached the dug-out and relieved the wretches10 therein. I then had to go forth and find another dugout for a still more advanced post where I had left 18 bombers. I was responsible for other posts on the left, but there was a junior officer in charge. My dug-out held 25 men tight packed. Water filled it to a depth of 1 or 2 feet, leaving say 4 feet of air. One entrance had been blown in and blocked. So far, the other remained. The Germans knew we were staying there and decided we shouldnt . Those fifty hours were the agony of my happy life. Every ten minutes on Sunday afternoon seemed an hour. I nearly broke down and let myself drown in the water that was now slowly rising over my knees. Towards 6 oclock, when, I suppose you would be going to church, the shelling grew less intense and less accurate; so that I was mercifully helped to do my duty and crawl, wade11, climb, and flounder12 over No Mans Land to visit my other post. It took about half an hour to move 150 yards. I was chiefly annoyed by our own machine-guns from behind. The seeng-seeng-seeng of the bullets reminded me of Marys canary. On the whole I can support the canary better. In the platoon13 on my left the sentries over the dug-out were blown to nothing. One of these poor fellows was my first servant whom I rejected. If I had kept him he would have lived, for servants dont do sentry duty. I kept my own sentries half-way down the stairs during the more terrific bombardment. In spite of this one lad was blown down and, I am afraid, blinded. This was my only casualty14. The officer of the left platoon has come out completely prostrated and is in hospital. I am now as well, I suppose, as ever

it refers to...

One entrance to... we shouldnt do what?

Why from behind? these poor fellows are...

this refers to...

2 Where in the letter does Owen contrast the life of the soldiers at the front and the civilians
at home?

3 What in the letter reminds you of details in the poem by Rosenberg Returning,
We Hear the Larks and Owens Futility?

1. post, place where a soldier is on watch (postazione). 2. dug-out, a deep ditch excavated in the ground (trincea). 3. shelled, under fire from artillery guns (bombardata). 4. to go over the top, to climb out of a trench to attack the enemy (andare allassalto). 5. octopus, used figuratively, sea animal with eight tentacles (piovra). 6. clay, sticky earth (argilla). 7. waders, high waterproof boots (stivaloni impermeabili).

8. spluttered, fired rapidly (crepitavano). 9. flares, bright lights exploded to illuminate the battlefield at night (razzi illuminanti). 10. wretches, miserable soldiers (sventurati). 11. wade, walk through water (guadare). 12. flounder, move with great difficulty (divincolarmi). 13. platoon, a small group of soldiers (plotone). 14. casualty, person killed or injured (morto, ferito).

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T H E M E : WA R

The poems for which Owen is now remembered were nearly all written between the summer of 1917 and the autumn of his death in 1918. Very few were published in his lifetime. In 1918 he began assembling them for a book for which he was considering the Preface below. It is not a finished statement but a rough draft explaining the purpose and subject matter of his poems. The draft has long been considered the manifesto of war poetry.

Document 2
From Wilfred Owen, Preface to The Collected Poems, 1918

1 Read the text.


a Underline the sentences which define: the subject matter of the poems the role of the poet. b Reformulate what they say using your own words.

This book is not about heroes. English Poetry is not yet fit to speak of them. Nor is it about legends, or lands, or anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except War. Above all, I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, and the pity1 of War. The Poetry is in the pity. Yet these elegies are to this generation in no sense consolatory. They may be to the next. All a poet can do to-day is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful.

it refers to...

I is... The subject of...

Organising Data for Presentation


The theme of war has gradually emerged through the materials you have handled in the Module: poems, visual and verbal documents, biographies, informative and theoretical sections. The problem you now have to face is how to organise all the materials in order to be able to present them in a concise but effective way to an audience which should include your teacher and classmates. The activities at the Check stage of Step One and Two ( pp. 7, 12) have already ordered the material on similar cards. You now need to complete the collection of your data for the new texts and poets included in Step Three.

1 Refer to the poem by Rosenberg, Returning, We Hear the Larks and to the poem by Owen,
Futility. For each prepare and complete a card similar to the one you have prepared for Brooke ( p. 7). Use the same headings in the same order.
1. pity, the poets sadness at the suffering and death war brings about (condivisione partecipata alle sofferenze fisiche e morali della guerra).

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M1 WORLD WAR I: INVESTIGATING AND PRESENTING THEMES

The fixed format of the card should help you in the organisation of the material for a coherent oral report on the theme under discussion. As your thematic investigation has been in chronological order, a time line can be a convenient graphic organiser.

2 Copy the time line below into your notebook and complete it as suggested.
a b c In the red band, mark the main historical events of the conflict. In the blue band, mark the poems and the documents you have explored. In the yellow band make notes about the view of war the poems and documents express. An example has been provided. You can make your time line look more personal by adding relevant pictures.

View of War

A glorious sacrifice

Works

R. Brooke The Soldier 1914

S. Sassoon They 1916

Events

Great Britain enters the war

1914

1915

1916

1917

1918

STUDY BOX CHECK

Waiting for the End: Rosenberg and Owen


Refer to the poem by Rosenberg Returning, We Hear the Larks and to the poem by Owen, Futility. For each poem identify three key words which, in your view, are most relevant to illustrate the poets view of war. Give reasons for your choices adding meaningful quotations.

AND LEARN

Rosenbergs View of War

The year 1917 was marked by the outbreak of the Russian Revolution and the entry of the US into the war. War-weariness was affecting both sides and the horrors of war showed no sign of decline. Sassoon continued to write aggressive and bitter lines against the conflict. Rosenbergs lines, however, do not express any anger. He hated the physical violence and the ugliness and suffering of war, but his voice sounds more detached than, for example, Sassoon and Owen. He usually starts from a precise detail or event of the trench warfare to generalise about human existence, to convey a complex idea. The poem Returning, We Hear the Larks captures a moment of peace and joy on a battlefield, but also emphasises the fragility

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T H E M E : WA R

Owens View of War

of joy and beauty in the war setting and in the human condition in general. The images in the second part of the poem are outstanding for their originality and vividness. There is a strict correspondence between Owens statements about war poetry ( Document 2, p. 18) and the poems he wrote. He claims that the subject matter of his poems is the reality of war, not the glorification of war, and its main theme is pity, i.e. the poets sadness at so much suffering and death. The role of the poet is to convey the horror of war to those who have no direct experience of it, so that futile and destructive future conflicts can be avoided. In such a context the poets main concern is not with melodious language or perfection of form. The conventions of traditional poetry are not well-suited to the description of trench warfare or to protesting against the needless continuation of the conflict. Owen was also a skilful and varied versifier. His major technical innovation was the use of half-rhymes or pararhymes. For example, in Futility he rhymes seeds with sides, star with stir. The effect is a sense of frustration, in keeping with the tragic themes of his poetry. The horrors of World War I evoked a wide literary and artistic response in many other European countries, particularly amongst poets. In Italy the output of Ungaretti has a great deal in common with the British verse of the period ( CROSS-CURRICULAR CARD: Italian Literary Views of the Great War: Ungaretti, APPENDIX, p. 68).


National Portrait Gallery

BIOGRAPHIES

ISAAC ROSENBERG (1890-1918)

saac Rosenberg was born into a working class, Jewish family. Unlike Brooke, Sassoon and Owen, who served as officers, he went through the war as a simple

soldier and served for twenty months on the Western Front until he was killed in 1918. He was both a painter and a poet. His poetry remained almost unknown and unpublished during his lifetime.

WILFRED OWEN (1893-1918)

W
Macmillan

ilfred Owen enlisted in 1915 and was commissioned as an Infantry Officer. After serving several months in the trenches, he was posted home on sick leave.

At a hospital in Scotland he met Siegfried Sassoon whose encouragement and criticism enabled him to find his poetic voice. In September 1918, he returned to active service in France and was awarded the Military Cross. He was killed in action exactly one week before the Armistice. His poems were collected and introduced for publication by Sassoon in 1920.

P E R S O N A L F I L E : G e t R e a d y f o r Te s t i n g , p . 6 0

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M 1 W O R L D WA R I : I N V E ST I G AT I N G A N D P R E S E N T I N G T H E M E S

Assignment APPLYING WHAT YOU KNOW


NES oral
GIVING AN ORAL REPORT

1 Refer back to your time line on p. 19 to act as an aid for an oral report which you can organise in the following way:
brief introduction (say what your analysis is about and what it is based on, mention authors and titles of poems and documents) comparison of subject matter (give a brief description of the content of the poems and documents with some quotations) authors attitude to war (define the attitudes to war poems and documents show; explain where attitudes derive from) theme (summarise the theme using one sentence) conclusion (choose an image from those included in the Module. Use the image to act as a visual, meaningful background to the conclusions you have drawn about the theme of war regarding the poems and documents you have explored).

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Beyond Literature
MUSIC
( p. 16)

FILM

MUSIC

VISUAL ART

WAR REQUIEM: DIES IRAE (FUTILITY) (1961)


music by Benjamin Britten, sung by Peter Pears (tenor), Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano), London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Britten; recorded in 1963.
Futility is one of the nine war poems by Wilfred Owen interpolated by Benjamin Britten (1913-76, Biography on the next page) in the Latin text of his mass, War Requiem (1961), composed for the consecration of the newly-built Coventry Cathedral, which had been destroyed in World War II. It is a complex composition which develops on three planes. In the foreground there is the tenor and baritone accompanied by the chamber orchestra, whose role is the presentation of the poems. Behind there is a full orchestra, chorus and soprano soloist singing the mass and in the background there is a boys choir, accompanied by the organ, also singing the mass. The War Requiem is considered Brittens choral and orchestral masterpiece. The recording you are going to listen to shows you how Britten inserted the poem in the mass.

1 (FIRST LISTENING) Go back to the text ( p. 16) and listen to the tape.
a Mark in the text where the following parts of the mass, sung by the soprano and chorus, are inserted in the poem, sung by a tenor. 1 Lacrimosa dies illa... 2 Qua resurget ex favilla... 3 Iudicandus homo reus. 4 Pie Iesu Domine, dona eis requiem. Amen That day of tears... Quel giorno di pianto... From the dust of earth returning... In cui risorger dalle ceneri... Man for judgement must prepare Luomo colpevole deve essere giudicato Lord all-pitying, Jesus blest grant them rest. Amen O misericordioso signore Ges, dona loro la pace. Amen

b c

Which of the two accompaniments sounds more dissonant and modern and which sounds more traditional to your ear? What relationship can you see between the type of accompaniment and the texts?

2 (SECOND LISTENING) Focus on the first stanza.


a b c d e Underline the words and phrases which are repeated in the singing. What feelings does the interpretation of the tenor convey? despair torment doubt How is the tremolo of the accompaniment of strings and winds related to the interpretation of the tenor? Does the final crescendo signal a change of mood or a reinforcement of the same mood? Which of the following would you use to describe the singing of the soprano and which would you use to describe the chorus? desperate imploring soothing

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BEYOND LITERATURE

3 (THIRD LISTENING) Focus on the second stanza.


a What feelings does the singing up to line 11 convey and how does it change in line 12? The following adjectives may help you. desperate b c d meditative angry intimate

What function does the intervention of the soprano and chorus have at this point? How does it sound? Does the tenor seem to be pacified when he sings line 12 a second time or does he seem to be embittered? How is the singing related to the meaning of the text? Does the final intervention of the soprano and chorus convey a sense of final peace or maintain the sense of unrest?

4 (FOURTH LISTENING) Listen to the whole poem again. Would you say that the interpretation is meant to convey a sense of justification of what happened in the war or to induce a sense of warning against the horror of war? Give reasons for your answer.

Paul Nash, The Menin Road, oil on canvas, London, Imperial War Museum, 1919. The painting shows a shattered war landscape after the Battle of the Menin Road (Flanders, 1917). In Paul Nashs words he was a messenger who will bring back word from the men who are fighting to those who want the war to go on for ever.

The Paul Press Ltd., 1988

BIOGRAPHY

BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-76)

e is considered one of the greatest 20th-century English composers. His originality did not lie in a breakaway from tradition, but was, rather, rooted in it and so his music appealed to a wide audience. He was able to capture the publics interest and imagination through memorable musical phrases. His output for orchestra, choral music,

chamber music and for solo voice is enormous and varied and includes incidental music for films, plays and radio. He collaborated with many writers, putting their poetry to music. He also composed operas based on literary works, such as A Midsummer Nights Dream from Shakespeares play, and The Turn of the Screw from Henry James story.

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MODULE

War: Responsibility and Choice


In this Module you will look closely at how authors have responded to war across the 20th century. You will deal with texts written about the Boer War, the First and Second World Wars and the Vietnam War. You will analyse in particular how the themes of assignment of responsibility, of choice or lack of choice regarding involvement in war are treated.

LEVEL TYPE OF MODULE PREREQUISITES OBJ ECTIVES

intermediate
textual, thematic, and contextual basic knowledge of the conventions of fiction and poetry basic knowledge of the notion of theme and of how to analyse it learn about some works of writers who have dealt with the theme of war in the 20th century determine and compare different responses to war across a century analyse how responses can change over a given period of time

M AT E R I A L S

FICTION

from Going Back (1975) by Penelope Lively from By the Light of My Fathers Smile (1998) by Alice Walker The Man He Killed (1902) by Thomas Hardy The General (1917) by Siegfried Sassoon Vergissmeinnicht (1943) by Keith Douglas from Autobiography (1971) by Adrian Henri Refugee Blues (1939) by W. H. Auden from masters of war (1963), a song by Bob Dylan

POETRY

TIME LINKS

approx. 20 hours Siegfried Sassoon (M1)


BEYOND LITERATURE:

Visual Art, Platform Scene World War I; World War II (APPENDIX)

CROSS-CURRICULAR CARDS:

LEAD IN

The Armed Forces


What do you feel about the armed forces and what do you know about wars in the past century? Here are some questions for you to discuss with your classmates: pool your ideas to answer as many as possible. Dont worry if you cant answer them all because you will find out more as you study this Module. Until a short time ago, Italy had armed forces composed of both professionals (people who choose this as a job) and conscripts (people who are obliged to do a period of military service). It now intends to have only professionals in service during peace time.

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T H E M E : WA R

1 Consider the pros and cons of conscription and a professional armed force.
a b What do you think about them? Would your opinion change if Italy became involved in a war?

2 Many young Italian men chose not to enter the armed forces when called up.
They chose to be conscientious objectors and do social and community service. a b What do you think about their choice? Would your opinion change if Italy became involved in a war?

3 Check your background knowledge of some conflicts.


WORLD WAR I 1 In World War I, who was involved and on which side? 2 What was its outcome? WORLD WAR II 1 In World War II, who was involved and on which side? 2 What happened to many Jews who stayed in Europe? 3 What happened to those Jews who escaped or left? VIETNAM WAR 1 Who was involved and why? Were the forces professionals or conscripts? 2 What was the outcome? 3 What has happened to many veterans of this war?

STEP

One

The Beginning of the Century


OBJ ECTIVES In Step One you will: analyse poems from the Boer War and World War I compare how the poems deal with the theme of responsibility

Our first texts come from the beginning of the 20th century. You will analyse a poem by Thomas Hardy and one by Siegfried Sassoon.

THOMAS HARDY (1840-1928)


The Man He Killed (1902)

B I O G R A P H Y, p. 3 0

You are going to read a poem which refers to The Boer War (1899-1902), a Colonial war which killed many soldiers from Britain and Boers (mainly farmers of Dutch descent) of South Africa.

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M2 WAR: RESPONSIBILITY AND CHOICE

1 Read the poem and its introduction and say:


1 2 3 4 where the soldier is who he is speaking to what the soldier is confessing to why he went to the war in the first place.

The Man He Killed

Scene: The settle1 of the Fox Inn, Stagfoot Lane Characters: The speaker (a returned soldier) and his friends, natives of the hamlet2.

Had he and I but met By some old ancient inn, 3 We should have sat us down to wet 4 Right many a nipperkin !
5

he refers to

But ranged as infantry, And staring face to face, I shot at him as he at me, And killed him in his place. I shot him dead because Because he was my foe, Just so: my foe of course he was; Thats clear enough: although He thought hed list5, perhaps, Off-hand like6 just as I Was out of work had sold his traps7 No other reason why; Yes; quaint8 and curious9 war is! You shoot a fellow down Youd treat10 if met where any bar is, Or help to half-a-crown11.
he refers to

10

15

20

1. settle, a small, cosy room in a pub (saletta di una taverna). 2. hamlet, a small village here Hardy refers to a place in Dorset (paesino). 3. wet, drink (bere, bagnarsi la gola con). 4. nipperkin, half-pint cup (boccale da mezza pinta). A pint is a measure for liquid equal to about half a litre. 5. hed list, he would enlist (si sarebbe arruolato). 6. Off-hand like, without thinking much about it (su due piedi).

7. traps, belongings (cose). 8. quaint, unpredictable, strange (strana). 9. curious, here it means surprising, unexpected (imprevedibile). 10. treat, pay for his drink (pagheresti da bere). 11. help to half-a-crown, lend a small amount of money (presteresti mezza corona). A crown is a British coin which is no longer used. It was worth approximately 25 pence.

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T H E M E : WA R

2 Look at the content more carefully.


a Where does the soldier say the following things? Write the line numbers for each. 1 2 3 4 5 b I only killed him because he was the enemy (lines ..........) If I had met him in a pub we would have had a drink together. (lines ..........) War is a strange thing: it makes you kill someone for whom you would normally buy a drink. (lines ..........) We were both probably in the army because we didnt have jobs. (lines ..........) We both shot at each other but I killed him. (lines ..........)

Rewrite the content in an ordered paragraph including the line references in brackets. Here is a possible beginning: A soldier returned from the Boer War speaks to his friends about a man he killed. He says that if he had met the man in a pub, they would have had a drink together (lines 1-4). He then says...

3 Concentrate on stanzas 3 and 4.


a Which of the following devices does Hardy use to convey the soldiers feelings? Tick those which apply. repetition metaphor b personification broken rhythm punctuation indicating pauses assonance

What can you conclude about how the soldier feels about having killed the man? Choose from the words below and explain your choices. defiant unsure unconvinced confident unconcerned hesitant upset indifferent traumatised

4 Look carefully at the final stanza. In it you can see who or what is blamed for the events. Say who or what Hardy blames by completing this sentence:
In the final stanza we can see that Hardy puts the responsibility for the mans death on ...................

The General (1917)


The next short poem is set in World War I (1914-18), a conflict involving Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey against the allied forces of Russia, France, Italy, Britain and the US, and in which approximately 10 million people were killed ( CROSSCURRICULAR CARD: World War I, APPENDIX, p. 66).

1 Read the poem and say:


1 2 who the speaker(s) in the poem is/are, the General and/or his soldiers where you think the General is and where the soldiers are going.

A scene from the First World War.

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SIEGFRIED SASSOON (1886-1967)

B I O G R A P HY, in M1, p . 1 3

M2 WAR: RESPONSIBILITY AND CHOICE

The General
Good morning; good morning! the General said When we met him last week on our way to the line. Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of em dead, And were cursing his staff for incompetent swine1. Hes a cheery2 old card3, grunted4 Harry to Jack As they slogged up5 to Arras6 with rifle and pack. But he did for7 them both by his plan of attack.

his refers to... He refers to...

he refers to... them both are...

2 Look at Harrys comment on line 5.


Do you think it is meant at face value or is it said in an ironical tone? Justify your answer.

3 Focus on the last line of the poem.


a b c Who makes this comment? What has happened to Harry and Jack? Who is given responsibility for what has happened?

Harold Sandys Williamson, The Route Nationale, London, Imperial War Museum, 1917. As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.
(from The General, line 6)

STUDY BOX CHECK

Responses from the First Half of the Century


Lets now put together the information you have gathered in this Step. If it is collected and organised, it will form a useful and easily accessible source. Copy the table in your notebook and complete it with your findings for Hardys poem. Use note form. Then do the same for The General .
Title ......................................................................................................................... Author .................................................................................................................. (date) ...................................................................... (dates) ......................................................................

Genre ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................... War ......................................................................................................................... (dates) ......................................................................

Subject matter .................................................................................................................................................................................................

Authors response to war (concerning choice/responsibility) ...........................................................................................

1. 2. 3. 4.

swine, pigs (maiali). cheery, pleasant (simpatico). card, (informal) amusing person (tipo). grunted, made a noise to express dissatisfaction (grugn).

5. slogged up, walked with difficulty (si trascinavano). 6. Arras, northern France, scene of battle in 1917. 7. did for, finished them off, got them killed (ha fatti fuori).

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Imperial War Museum

T H E M E : WA R

AND LEARN

Responses to War

The Man He Killed

The General

There can be many shades of response to a common theme such as war an experience which evokes strong responses in the arts and it is important to read a text in depth to get at its specific message in order to fully appreciate the writers point of view. In this step we have seen how authors responses concerning responsibility and accountability can shift and alter as the historical and social context changes. The two poems considered were from the first half of the 20th century. Thomas Hardy writes in his poem The Man He Killed about the tragedy of the death of a young soldier and the trauma of the soldier who killed him. Hardy clearly lays the blame at the feet of war, an abstract and curious force which he sees as somehow altering human behaviour. The young soldier seems upset and baffled about what has occurred and in need of reassurance that his act was an inevitable result of the situation. Siegfried Sassoon, on the other hand, tells of the cowardice and incompetence of commanders in the forces who find it so easy to send soldiers to their deaths from the safety of their military bases. Sassoon lays the blame with these commanders and vividly describes the muted anger of the soldiers who are their pawns in the game cannon fodder.

BIOGRAPHY

THOMAS HARDY (1840-1928)

e renounced his career as a writer of fiction after the critical reception of his last novel, and turned to writing poetry. His greatest works were inspired by the death of

his first wife, Emma, in 1912 although he touches on other issues that affected him deeply such as war and religion. He is now considered to be as great a poet as he was a novelist.

P E R S O N A L F I L E : G e t R e a d y f o r Te s t i n g , p . 6 1

STEP

Two

The Mid-Century
OBJ ECTIVES In Step Two you will: analyse poems and a novel regarding World War II compare how the texts deal with the theme of responsibility and choice

ou will now focus on responses to World War II which raged in Europe from 1939 until 1945. The allies Britain, France, Russia and the US were involved in fighting with the Axis powers Germany, Italy and Japan ( CROSS-CURRICULAR CARD: World War II, APPENDIX, p. 67).

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Anonymous, Back Them up!, 1942.

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Arnoldo Mondadori, 1972

M2 WAR: RESPONSIBILITY AND CHOICE

KEITH DOUGLAS (1920-44)


Vergissmeinnicht (1943)
1 Read this poem by Douglas and say:
1 who is dead 2 what two things he has with him.

B I O G R A P H Y, p. 4 0

Vergissmeinnicht 1
Three weeks gone and the combatants gone, returning over the nightmare ground we found the place again, and found the soldier sprawling2 in the sun.
5

we refers to

The frowning3 barrel4 of his gun overshadowing. As we came on that day, he hit my tank with one like the entry of a demon. Look. Here in the gunpit spoil the dishonoured picture of his girl who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht in a copybook gothic script7. We see him almost with content, 8 abased , and seeming to have paid and mocked at by his own equipment thats hard and good when hes decayed. But she would weep to see today how on his skin the swart9 flies move; the dust upon the paper eye and the burst stomach like a cave. For here the lover and killer are mingled who had one body and one heart. And death who had the soldier singled has done the lover mortal hurt.
5 6

he refers to one is a shell

10

paid what for?

15

she refers to his refers to

20

2 Focus on the subject matter of the poem in more detail.


a Make notes in your notebook under the following headings and quote from the poem. Where: the scene of a battle the nightmare ground When: ................... Who: ................... Which objects and what significance: ................... What feelings and whose: ................... Rewrite your answers to 2a in paragraph form, including some of the quotations.
5. 6. 7. 8. 9. gunpit, trench (trincea per bocca da fuoco). spoil, remains of a dead man (spoglia). script, handwriting (scrittura). abased, degraded (degradato). swart, blackish (nerastre).

1. Vergissmeinnicht, (German) forget-me-not (nontiscordardim). 2. sprawling, lying with open arms and legs (disteso in modo scomposto). 3. frowning, with an angry, threatening expression (accigliata). 4. barrel, metal tube forming part of a gun (canna del fucile).

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T H E M E : WA R

3 Now determine the poets response to war by focusing on the final stanza.
a b Douglas says the German soldier has two distinct facets, what are they? Who do you think, therefore, Douglas blames for the atrocities of war? Choose from these options: war itself those in charge man and his inner nature

ADRIAN HENRI (1932-2000)


Autobiography (1971)

B I O G R A P H Y, p. 4 0

Although similarly set in World War II, you will find the next poem extract in sharp contrast with the poem by Keith Douglas.

1 Read the extract from the poem on the opposite page.


a b Say how old you think Henri was that long dark winter and why. Look at this collection of World War II objects and people. How many things are mentioned in Henris poem?
Or bis Pu bl. ,

19 95

Robert Opie Collection

Robert Opie Collection

Orbis Publ., 1995

Images of World War II.M

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Hamlin, 1995

Hamlin, 1995

Orb is Pu bl., 1 9

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M2 WAR: RESPONSIBILITY AND CHOICE

Autobiography
Carrying my gasmask to school every day buying saving stamps1 remembering my National Registration Number2 (ZMGM/136/3 see I can still remember it) avoiding Careless Talk3 Digging for Victory4 looking for German spies everywhere Oh yes, I did my bit5 for my country that long dark winter, me and Winston6 and one or two others, wearing my tin hat whenever possible singing Hang out the Washing on the Siegfried Line7 aircraft-recognition charts pinned to my bedroom wall the smell of paint on toy soldiers doing paintings of Spitfires and Hurricanes8, Lancasters and Halifaxes9 always with a Heinkel10 or a Messerschmitt11 plunging helplessly into the sea in the background pink light in the sky from Liverpool burning 50 miles away the thunder of daylight flying fortresses high overhead shaking the elderberry12 tree 13 bright barrage-balloons flying over the docks morning curve of the bay seen from the park on the hill after coming out of the air-raid shelter 14 listening for the All Clear siren listening to Vera Lynn15 Dorothy Lamour16 Allen Jones17 and The Andrew Sisters18 19 20 clutching my fathers hand tripping over the unfamiliar kerb I walk over every day in the black-out.
Why did the poet have to carry it?

that long dark winter during

10

A poster urging people to start watching out for fires.

15

20

25

Why was there a black-out?

2 Focus on the actions.


a Find and underline all the actions represented by the use of present participles such as Carrying which refer to the boy.

1. saving stamps, stamps that could be bought at intervals as part of National Savings, to help the war effort. 2. National Registration Number, number to be remembered in case of invasion (numero che permette lidentificazione). 3. Careless Talk, talking about military information that might be overheard by the enemy (notizie eventualmente utili al nemico). 4. Digging for Victory, growing ones own vegetables (tenere un orto di guerra). 5. I did my bit, I made my useful contribution (ho fatto la mia parte). 6. Winston, Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister during World War II. 7. Siegfried Line, fortified line along the German Western front. 8. Spitfires and Hurricanes, British fast aeroplanes.

9. Lancasters and Halifaxes, British bombers. 10. Heinkel, German aeroplane. 11. Messerschmitt, German aeroplane. 12. elderberry, fruit of an elder tree (bacca di sambuco). 13. barrage-balloons, balloons put up to deter bombers (palloni di sbarramento). 14. All Clear siren, sound meaning danger is over (sirene di fine allarme aereo). 15. Vera Lynn, British singer famous at that time. 16. Dorothy Lamour, American actress famous at that time. 17. Allen Jones, popular American singer. 18. The Andrew Sisters, group of American singers. 19. tripping over, losing my balance (inciampando). 20. kerb, line of stones edging the pavement (bordo del marciapiede).

Wayland, 1990

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What effect does the repetition of this active form have? Choose from the alternatives. 1 2 It creates a busy, excited atmosphere. It creates an atmosphere of sadness. 3 4 It makes the boy seem tired. It creates an atmosphere of fear and terror.

3 Look at the references to the senses.


a b Identify and underline the references to smells, colours, shapes and sounds in the poem. Do the references create a picture of darkness and sadness or of brightness and excitement?

4 Based on what you have learned, how would you describe Henris message about war and
in particular about children in wartime? Choose from these alternatives or suggest your own. 1 2 Children can find war terrifying and therefore need the presence of parents in wartime. Children can be unconscious of the horrors of war and therefore enjoy the feelings of novelty, excitement and community spirit. 3 Children are conscious of the horrors of war and therefore take a deep and morbid interest in all that is going on around them.
TH E I MAG E: Platform Scene, p. 48

PENELOPE LIVELY (b. 1933)


Going Back (1975)

B I O G R A P H Y, p. 4 1

During World War II, as Germany intensified its bombing raids on Britain, thousands of people were evacuated from towns and cities and sent to the relative safety of country villages. In the countryside, villages temporarily expanded their populations as they played host to evacuees (mainly children and teachers) and the land army groups of mainly young women who worked as farm labourers.

Hulton Deutsch Collection

Evacuee children of World War II.

Women who worked in the Land Army during the war. They maintained Britains agriculture.

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Hulton Deutsch Collection

M2 WAR: RESPONSIBILITY AND CHOICE

Penelope Lively, a contemporary British author, wrote a novel describing the war from the point of view of two children (Jane, the narrator, and Edward, her brother) living in the countryside, and learning about the war from evacuees, land girls and soldiers returning home. Their mother has died and their father has enlisted in the forces. They live with Betty, their governess, and Sandy, the gardener. A land girl called Susie and a young man called Mike are staying in the village, too.
Te x t o n e

a b

Why isnt Mike a soldier? What kind of war work is Mike probably going to do in the country?
Children sheltering from a planefight over Kent.

10

Mike was a conchie1. A what? said Edward, fork half way to mouth, and for once we attend to an explanation, because, somehow, we feel involved. A conscientious objector, said Betty. And dont think youre leaving that corned beef2, Edward, because youre not. Thats someone that doesnt believe in fighting so theyre not called up3 but theyve got to do war work. Go down the mines or on the land. And the status provoked discussion. People had opinions, it seemed, about conchies. I dunno4, said Susie, I think they should have to join up. I mean, if everyone felt like that... Thered be no wars, would there? said Betty tartly. I mean, our soldiers are fighting for them too, arent they, whether they want people fighting for them or not. Its their religion, isnt it, some of them? Bolshies5, said Sandy darkly. Its not how Id see things, said Betty, not with Hitler. But everyones entitled to their opinion. They gave them white feathers6, last time, said Sandy, the women did. For cowardice, see.

they refers to...

They refers to...

2 Focus on the other characters. What are the opinions of Betty, Susie and Sandy regarding
Mikes status?
1. a conchie, abb. for conscientious objector (obiettore di coscienza). 2. corned beef, tinned meat and cornmeal (carne di manzo in scatola). 3. called up, called into the forces (chiamato alle armi). 4. dunno, slang for dont know (non lo so). 5. Bolshies, abb. for Bolsheviks, used to describe anyone of communist tendencies (Bolscevichi). 6. white feathers, sign of cowardice (penne bianche).

De Luca, Ellis, Pace, Ranzoli - Books and Bookmarks, cod. 2632 Loescher Editore

Popperfoto

1 Read the first extract and find out about the young man called Mike.

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T H E M E : WA R

Te x t t w o

1 Read the second extract which begins with Edwards words: You cant. Say:
1 2 who Edward is speaking to what he is saying that person cannot do.

10

You cant, said Edward. Never, never had we challenged father before, face to face, person to person. Prevaricated, yes. Evaded. Slid away from. Hid in the spinney1 from. But never challenged. Edward was scarlet; I, clenched with fury2. You cant. Desperately. Hes billeted3. Like Susie and Pam. Easily seen to, said father. A word with Palmer, thats all. But why? Whats he done? Hes a damn conchie, said father. Im not giving house-room to people like that. I just dont care for his type, thats all. Thats not something hes done, said Edward, in passion. Its what he is. Its the kind of person he is. He cant help that. Thats enough cheek4, from you, Edward. I think Mikes brave, shouted Edward. I dont think hes a coward at all. Only stupid people think that. And father shouted back. I said thats enough! Dyou hear? So that what follows is inevitable. Edward is sent to bed with no supper. I scream at father, through the closed door, after he has gone, I hate you! I think youre the meanest person in the world! And he hears and I am condemned with Edward and sent also to bed. But separately, alone and raging5 in the spare room.

we refers to...

He refers to...

Who is Edward referring to as stupid?

2 Focus on feelings.
a What does the extract tell us about: 1 2 3 b c Edwards feelings towards Mike? Edwards fathers feelings about Mike? Janes feelings about Mike?

If Mike could hear this discussion, how might he feel and react? Whose feelings do you empathise with so far, Susie, Betty, the father, Jane or Edwards? Why?

Mike eventually decides to enlist in the armed forces. When he tells Edward of his decision he says: I stopped being so sure. People do, you know.

3 Why did he change his mind about his original choice and can you understand his decision?
1. spinney, small wood (boschetto). 2. clenched with fury, tensed with anger (irrigidita per la rabbia). 3. billeted, placed in the home of another during wartime (sfollato). 4. cheek, rudeness (sfacciataggine). 5. raging, feeling very angry (arrabbiatissima).

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M2 WAR: RESPONSIBILITY AND CHOICE

4 Consider how the author deals with the issue of conscientious objectors and their position in wartime.
a As far as you can see, how is the issue presented to the reader through narrative, through description, or through dialogue? How many points of view on the issue is the reader invited to consider? List them and say whose it is. Is being a conscientious objector shown in the novel to be a question of personal choice or lack of choice? Can you think of other examples of choice and lack of choice people faced in wartime?

W. H. AUDEN (1907-73)
Refugee Blues (1939)

B I O G R A P H Y, p. 4 1

The poem you are now going to read, inspired in this case by the plight of Jews in World War II, is called Refugee Blues. Blues are melancholic songs which sing of sadness and misery. The expression, Im feeling blue does, in fact, mean Im feeling sad. European Jews were faced with two choices in the late 30s leave their homes, jobs and friends and become refugees or stay behind in their country in an atmosphere of intense anti-semitic feeling. Their choices were not great. Those who stayed behind, in fact, Felix Nussbaum (1904-44), Self-Portrait with Jewish Passport, risked Hitlers Final Solution his oil on canvas, 55 48.5 cm, Osnabrck, Kulturgeshichtlichen Museum. If youve got no passport you are officially dead. dream of the extermination of all (from Refugee Blues, line 11) European Jews. By early 1945, Hitler had murdered 5,800,000 Jews from all over Europe. 9,000 of these people came from Italy. Audens poem, on the other hand, highlights the plight of those who chose to leave.
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by Siae, 2001

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1 Read Audens poem and say which European country the refugees in the poem have come from.

Refugee Blues
Say this city has ten million souls, Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes1. Yet theres no place for us, my dear, yet theres no place for us.
5

Who does us refer to? it refers to

Once we had a country and we thought it fair, Look at the atlas and youll find it there: We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now. In the village churchyard there grows an old yew , Every spring it blossoms anew3: Old passports cant do that, my dear, old passports cant do that.
2

cant do that stands for

10

The consul banged the table and said: If youve got no passport youre officially dead: But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive. Went to a committee; they offered me a chair; Asked me politely to return next year: But where shall we go to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day? Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said: If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread; He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.
they are

15

What is the speakers attitude?

20

5 Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky; It was Hitler over Europe saying: They must die; O we were in his mind, my dear, O we were in his mind.

They refers to Whose mind? Who Saw a poodle? Who are the German Jews in the poem?

Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin, Saw a door opened and a cat let in: But they werent German Jews, my dear, but they werent German Jews.
25

Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay , Saw the fish swimming as if they were free: Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away. Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees; They had no politicians and sang at their ease8: They weren t the human race, my dear, they werent the human race. Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors, A thousand windows and a thousand doors: Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

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They refers to

35

Stood on a great plain in the falling snow; Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro9; Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.
6. poodle, dog with thick curling hair (barboncino). 7. quay, place where boats can be tied up and load/unload their goods (banchina). 8. at their ease, relaxed and freely (con gioia e liberamente). 9. to and fro, from place to place (avanti e indietro).

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

holes, here small, unpleasant houses/rooms (tuguri). yew, a type of tree (tasso). anew, literary for again. banged, banged his fist on the table (batt il pugno sul tavolo). rumbling, making a deep rolling sound (che rombava).

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M2 WAR: RESPONSIBILITY AND CHOICE

2 Each stanza of Audens poem highlights one aspect of the refugees misery and presents us with strong contrasts.
a Make sentences for each stanza as in the examples to discover the aspects. Stanza 1: Everyone in this city seems to have somewhere to live but we have nowhere. Stanza 2: We used to live in a beautiful country but now Stanza 3: The tree in the churchyard can renew itself but b c Put together the ideas behind each aspect and make a general statement about Audens message. How is the theme of choice/lack of choice in wartime exemplified in this poem?

STUDY BOX CHECK...

Responses from the Mid-Century


Return to the table that you copied into your notebook ( Make more tables for your findings concerning the works in Step Two. p. 29).

AND LEARN

Human Nature

A Childs View

In Step Two we have continued our analysis of themes across time by considering texts from World War II. We have also widened our area of interest to include the issue of choice. In Keith Douglas poem Vergissmeinnicht, we can read about the relief and satisfaction of the soldiers who avoided dying and who killed the enemy, but we also see them as they notice the photograph of the German soldiers girlfriend and have to come to terms with having killed the man as well as the soldier. Douglas tone is stark and unsentimental, a condemnation of man and his nature and it shows the bitter realism of one totally conscious of horrors of war. He does not attempt to blame an abstract concept of war for what has occurred, nor does he blame those who command, instead he points out how each man has within him the killer instinct linked closely with the instinct to survive. It is, he says, a pity that man is also many things other than a killer and that when the killer is killed, so are the other facets of the man. Douglas clearly blames mans inner nature. In Autobiography, Adrian Henri returns to himself as a little boy living the excitement and community spirit of the war. We are made aware of the way a child, unconscious to the horrors of war, can enjoy its other aspects. We are reminded that for many people the war was a happy period when you lived intensely, inhibitions were lost and the community worked together against a common foe. Many people still regret the loss of the positive spirit of the wartime period when they compare it to the sense of isolation which marks life today. Here Henri highlights the responsibilities of those back home to maintain and reinforce community and patriotic feelings to render the war bearable, even pleasurable.

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T H E M E : WA R

Choices

In Going Back , Penelope Lively deals with the delicate issue of choice regarding whether or not to adopt a pacifist stance in spite of the state of war and in spite of the weight of public opinion. Going Back presents us with a manysided view of the issue and asks questions about how real the choice actually is. Refugee Blues by W. H. Auden deals with one aspect of the plight of the Jews, that is to say the misery of the refugees. The Jews were the people in World War II left with no choices their fate was in the hands of a maniac. If they fled, their fate was in the hands of the countries in which they arrived. Auden vividly shows through simple examples and language, how this lack of choice and lack of identity left Jews in desperate and depressing situations.

Ben Shahn, This is Nazi Brutality, Stanford University, Hoover Institution Archives, 1942. Printed by the Government Printing Office for the Office of War Information. The Czech village of Lidice was destroyed by the Nazis in retaliation for the shooting of a Nazi official by two Czechs. The destruction of Lidice became symbolic of the brutality of Nazi occupation during World War II.

BIOGRAPHIES

KEITH DOUGLAS (1920-44)

eith Douglas left Oxford University at the outbreak of war, enlisted and served as a tank commander in North Africa. He wrote some of his finest poems there. In 1944 he took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy where he was killed on the third day. His Collected Poems were published posthumously.

ADRIAN HENRI (1932-2000)


poet-painter and the theoretician of the Liverpool Poets poets of the Beatles generation who wrote essentially for public performance and often with a musical accompaniment. Together with Roger McGough and Brian Patten he published the anthology The Mersey Sound (1967) which was one of the best-selling books of contemporary poetry in Britain.

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Leonardo Arte

M2 WAR: RESPONSIBILITY AND CHOICE

PENELOPE LIVELY (b. 1933)

N
Effigie

ovelist and childrens author, she grew up in Egypt and settled in England after World War II. The recurrent theme of the effect of the past on the present pervades many of her novels including The Ghost of Thomas Kempe (1973) and Going Back (1975). Her adult novel, Moon Tiger (1987), won the Booker Prize.

W. H. AUDEN (1907-73)

E
Effigie

ducated at Oxford, Auden adopted a Marxist stance in his social outlook. His poetry, written mainly in the 1930s, is topical, comprehensible and political and often reflects his concern over the rise of fascism in Europe and for the victims of war. His works include the collections and poems Look Stranger! (1936), Spain (1937), inspired by the Spanish Civil War, New Year Letter (1941), and About the House (1967).

P E R S O N A L F I L E : G e t R e a d y f o r Te s t i n g , p . 6 1

STEP

Three The Second Half of the 20th Century


OBJ ECTIVES In Step Three you will: analyse a protest song examine a work of fiction regarding the Vietnam War compare the authors responses to war.

fter a decade of intense fear of the communist threat in the 1950s, the American public was ready to be convinced about any action the US decided to take in countries where communism had a firm hold. In Vietnam, the North of the country was under communist control. The South was under the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem who was supported by the US. Through false propaganda, the US brought people to believe that South Vietnam was at risk of invasion from the North. South Vietnam needed US assistance and President Eisenhower moved in battalions of US marines in 1965. The Vietnam War had begun. It lasted through the presidencies of Johnson and Nixon until, in 1973, the US was forced to withdraw all its troops. In the early stages of the war, US soldiers were professionals and volunteers. But the guerilla warfare soon undermined US hopes of a quick victory and the Government began drafting soldiers. Many young people were outraged, they protested for peace and some fled to Canada to avoid being called up. Of those who fought, many died and those who returned Vietnam War Veterans many were physically and mentally scarred for life.

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BOB DYLAN (b. 1941)


masters of war (1963)

B I O G R A P H Y, p. 4 6

One popular form of protest was through music and the 1960s in the US gave rise to some of the greatest folk, ballad, blues and protest songwriters ever. Bob Dylan was one of the foremost exponents.

1 Read the extract from his song, masters of war, on the opposite page and say who you think the masters are.
members of the government industrial giants generals and commanders of the forces members of the secret services such as the CIA

New American Library

Contrasto, 1998

Images of the Vietnam War.M

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Corbis Uk Ltd.

Contrasto, 1998

Phaidon

M2 WAR: RESPONSIBILITY AND CHOICE

masters of war come you masters of war you that build the big guns you that build the death planes you that build all the bombs you that hide behind walls you that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks you that never done nothing but build to destroy you play with my world like its your little toy2 you put a gun in my hand and you hide from my eyes and you turn and run farther when the fast bullets3 fly like judas of old you lie and deceive4 a world war can be won you want me to believe but I see through your eyes and I see through your brain like I see through the water that runs down the drain5 you fasten all the triggers6 for the others to fire and then you sit back and watch when the deathcount gets higher you that hide in your mansion as young peoples blood flows out of their bodies and is buried in the mud
the others are probably
1

What kind of masks?

10

15

20

25

What kind of a house is a mansion?

30

2 Analyse the song more carefully.


a b c Dylan uses repetition of the verbs build and hide. What do the masters build, and where and from what do they hide? Dylan insists he is not deceived by the masters. Where does he make that clear? In stanza 3, Dylan uses a simile to describe the masters. What is the simile and what does it infer?

3 Considering our previous theme of blame, responsibility and accountability in war, who
does Dylan hold most responsible, in your opinion?
1. never done nothing, US slang for never done anything (mai fatto niente). 2. toy, plaything (giocattolo). 3. bullets, projectiles (proiettili). 4. deceive, not tell the truth to (ingannate). 5. drain, the place where water goes down in a sink (scarico, fogna). 6. trigger, the device which lets off a gun (grilletto).

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ALICE WALKER (b. 1944)

B I O G R A P H Y, p . 4 6

By the Light of My Fathers Smile (1998)


You are now going to read an extract concerning Vietnam from a very recent novel by an African American writer.

1 Before you read the extract, look at this brief story


Ballantine Books, New York, 1998

summary and say who the main characters are.

s u m m a ry
Two anthropologists move with their two daughters, Susannah and Magdalena, to the Sierra Madre in Mexico to study the local population. As a teenager, Magdalena falls in love with a local boy, Manuelito, but their relationship is strongly opposed by Magdalenas father. The novel moves back and forth in time, following the two very different lives of the sisters once back in the US. Much later in life, Magdalena meets Manuelito (Mannie) again on a plane. She recognises him, but thinks he does not recognise her as she has become obese. The meeting so upsets her that she decides to write to him. They meet and rediscover the strong ties that bound them when teenagers.

2 Now read Magdalenas account of the meeting. Mannie shows Magdalena two pictures (lines 1-2, lines 27-30). What do they show?
How many times were you shot? I asked, as I looked carefully at the photograph that showed him swathed1 in bandages, lying in a hospital bed. There was no counting the shots, because I was blown up so bad. I was lifted 2 out of Nam in pieces. I was in the hospital so long that by the time I came out, Nixon was out of office and Reagan was in. Im put together with wire3. Thats why I have to keep moving. If I sit down too long, I cant get up again. Ha, I said. Just like me. He laughed, and the swoozy4 smell of gin hit the side of my face. A diet would cure you, he said; it wouldnt be quite that easy in my case. Curiously, Ive never cared that other people see me as obese. But hearing him refer to it, I felt as if Id been pricked in the side. As if all my air might be let out, deflated, somehow. I came across the border looking for a girl, he said. I came to this country when I was real young. I worked for a while driving cattle5. I worked in diners washing dishes, cooking. I kept thinking I would find her. Just by accident one day I

10

it refers to...

this country refers to...

her refers to...

1. 2. 3. 4.

swathed, wrapped (fasciato). Nam, abbreviation for Vietnam. wire, thin piece of metal (fil di ferro). swoozy, a smell which makes you think of alcohol and

drunkenness (odore di alito da alcolizzato). 5. driving cattle, moving herds of cows from one place to another (spostare mandrie di bestiame).

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M2 WAR: RESPONSIBILITY AND CHOICE

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30

thought I might bump into her again. He laughed. I was really a boy. And I knew nothing about the world. For sure, I didnt know this country was so damn big. It is big, I said. It was a relief after a while to join the Army. Id never heard of Vietnam, and I didnt read the papers that much. But then they trained us and before you know it, there we were. What was it like? I asked. Hell, he said. And you left your family behind? My wife. She was pregnant6. This way I could send money home. I could take care of her. There was Reagan 7, grinning8, clapping the hero on the back. Caspar Weinberger9 looking like a ghost. Kissinger10 pretending to be moved. Mannie crippled11, shuffled forward12 for his medal, hoping not to disgrace his family and his race. I had begun to cry. Whatsa matter? he asked drunkenly. And before I could reply, he started to snore.

there refers to...

her refers to...

Which race?

3 Focus on Mannie.
a b c How did Mannie feel about joining up in the forces in the first place? What can you deduce from the extract about the effects both physical and mental that the war has had on Mannie? What can you understand about Mannies feelings about his experience in Vietnam? Are they straightforward or complex and contradictory?

4 Focus on Magdalena. How would you describe her feelings about the war? Choose from
the options below and justify your choice(s). curious excited upset frightened indifferent

STUDY BOX CHECK AND LEARN

Responses from the Second Half of the 20th Century


Return to the table that you copied into your notebook ( p. 29). Make more tables for your findings concerning the works in Step Three.

The final part of our research into changing and shifting themes has concerned the second part of the 20th century and one of its most infamous wars. The Vietnam War was a TV war, a war of misinformation, of drug-crazed soldiers terrified and fighting to survive in a place they should never have been sent. As the historical and social context shifts, we can see how the responsibility for what occurred changes hands again.
10. Kissinger, (Henry) President Nixons Security Assistant and later Secretary of State. 11. crippled, disabled (storpio). 12. shuffled forward, moved without lifting his feet in short paces (avanz strisciando i piedi per terra).

6. pregnant, expecting a baby (incinta). 7. Reagan, (Ronald) Hollywood filmstar and US President (1981-89). 8. grinning, smiling showing his teeth (che sorrideva mostrando tutti i denti). 9. Caspar Weinberger, US Secretary of Defense (1981-89).

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T H E M E : WA R

Bob Dylan writes in his song of protest about the masters of war they are clearly not the military commanders in the field but seem to represent all the administrators to whom the war was useful politicians and their secret services and the industrial giants making money out of the arms race. Alice Walker, on the other hand, brings home to us the consequences of war and makes us think about its long-term effects and what our responsibilities are concerning war veterans men who are heroes for a day and then left to manage with their physical and mental scars. Walker highlights how these men and women in service are used by modern-day governments and then thrown aside when they are not useful for gaining votes and feeding industry.


C. Rowley, 1984 AP/Wide World Photos, 1995

BIOGRAPHIES

BOB DYLAN (b. 1941)


orn Robert Zimmerman, he changed his name to reflect his admiration for the poet Dylan Thomas. He shares the Beats attitudes toward social authority, politics, and drugs, emphasizing the primacy of the self and rejecting institutionally prescribed norms. Blowin in the Wind, The Times They Are A-Changin, and A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall (all from 1962-63) are some of his most famous songs.

ALICE WALKER (b. 1944)


ovelist, poet, essayist and critic, Alice Walker is, in her own words, committed to exploring the oppressions, the insanities, the loyalties, and the triumphs of black women. She is a prolific writer and two of her best-known novels are The Color Purple (1982) and By the Light of My Fathers Smile (1998).

P E R S O N A L F I L E : G e t R e a d y f o r Te s t i n g , p . 6 2

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M 2 WA R : R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y A N D C H O I C E

Assignment APPLYING WHAT YOU KNOW


NES oral
GIVING AN ORAL REPORT

The findings you have collected provide you with a useful analysis of specific themes across a period in history, in this case, the 20th century. You are going to use your findings to prepare a short talk in which you compare and contrast a theme across a century.

1 Look back at your completed tables in your notebook ( p. 29).


a Decide which theme(s) and work(s) you are most interested in and which may provide a coherent group. You may choose as few as three works or as many as you need. You may want to use works from other curriculum subjects which add to your interpretation of the theme. Organise the materials you have chosen in a meaningful way. You may want to use a table, a time line, a graphic organiser or a spidergram. It is important that the organisation reflects the order of your talk. Think about how you might make your materials more interesting and coherent. You can use colour, shapes, images and you can connect ideas with arrows and lines. Study the useful words and phrases for giving a talk and practise your presentation.

c d

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Beyond Literature
VISUAL ART
( p. 34)

FILM

MUSIC

VISUAL ART

PLATFORM SCENE (1941)


Henry Moore, pen and ink, watercolour and chalk, 27.9 x 22.2 cm., Much Hadam Herts, The Henry Moore Foundation.

In M2 you have read a poem by Adrian Henri called Autobiography ( p. 33). The lines give verbal form to the poets memories of his life as World War II was raging. The War had a tremendous impact on peoples lives in Britain: night after night, German planes bombed cities like London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff. The bombing raids on London brought death and destruction to the capital. The population lacked proper air raid shelters and people sheltered in underground stations, as the photo in black and white on the opposite page shows.

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Henry Moore Foundation

VISUAL ART

Artists were employed by the State to record the fighting at the front or the civilian experience of war. As an Official War Artist, Henry Moore filled sketchbooks with drawings of blanketed people lying in groups on the platforms or in the passage ways. The photo, Moores work and Henris poem are all a vivid record of what the life of the civilians was like in Great Britain during World War II, but they render it in a different way and through different media.

1 Look closely at the photo and at Moores


drawing. a Consider the composition of the drawing. 1 How are the sheltering people arranged in the passage way? To describe it draw an imaginary diagonal line from bottom left to top right. 2 What effect does this composition produce? How different is the setting from that of the photograph? Consider the sheltering people in the drawing and in the photo. Can you identify at least one dissimilarity between them?

People sheltering in the passageways of the London Underground.

Wayland, 1990

2 The same real situation is the source of both the photo and Moores drawing. Moore, however, has noticeably transfigured his experience of London war shelters.
a Complete the paragraph below using the words given in jumbled order. brownish individuality beings depth faces Moore has increased the 1) .................... of the tunnel which seems to have no ending. The sheltering people have lost their 2) ................... . With a few exceptions it is not easy to distinguish male from female 3) ................... ; children from grown-ups and 4) ................... look almost all alike. Clothes which add to individuality have disappeared too; human beings are lying in the passage way wrapped in blankets.The blankets are all 5) ................... apart from the two red ones in the foreground.
Henry Moore, Sleeping Child Covered with Blanket, London, Henry Moore Foundation, 1941. The children look as if they really are asleep.
Henry Moore Foundation

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BEYOND LITERATURE

The following statements suggest the reason/s why Moore has made such changes. Read them and choose the one you think correct. 1 Moore has increased the depth of the tunnel which seems to have no ending: to stress the huge size of London underground which could house thousands of people to make it look like the tunnel of war for the whole of mankind. 2 Moores sheltering people have lost their individuality because he wanted: to represent mankind suffering in time of war and not individual beings in a specific time and place to stress the fact that they were one people fighting under the same flag.

Let us now study Moores drawing to see what use he has made of visual elements, like space and line. Consider how Moore has overcome the flatness of the actual surface he worked upon and created the illusion of a three dimensional underground station through perspective.

3 Review or study the ways an artist can show perspective. In which ways does Moore give an illusion of depth?
Now focus on line which artists can use to describe shapes, to create volumes, to express feelings.

4 Remind yourself or study the different kinds of line.


What kind of line does Moore use? What effect does it produce?

The poem Autobiography by Henri draws on his experience of World War II, as does Moores work you have just analysed. The poet experienced the German raids on the town near Liverpool where he lived.

5 Lets see how the verbal text compares with the visual one.
a b c Was the poem written during wartime? Does it speak about an individual or universal experience? Is the speakers mood the same as that suggested by Moores scene?

BIOGRAPHY

HENRY MOORE (1898-1986)

enry Moore started his artistic career as a sculptor modelling his figures on forms you can find in the natural world and using mainly stone and wood. As an Official War Artist(1940-42) he did some poignant drawings of people sheltering in underground stations. Then he

returned to sculpture introducing some major changes in his way of working. Bronze took over from stone as his preferred medium and the scale of his sculptures got bigger. He is recognized as one of the great sculptors of the 20th century.

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Personal File
The Personal File consists of several sections students can use to meet their own specific needs with or without their teachers guidance. Quick Reference provides a brief and essential outline of the Module content and/or any revision material you may need; Review and Extension serve specific functions. Review revisits key words and concepts the Module has taught. Extension extends students knowledge on one or more aspects of the Module; Get Ready for Testing offers two kinds of tests. Those for internal certification are objective and self-assessed. Those for the Nuovo Esame di Stato (NES) are of various kinds and more complex. Keys for self-correction are on pp. 63-64.

QUICK REFERENCE
M1 M2 The Thematic Approach to Text THE THEMATIC APPROACH means studying and analysing texts according to their themes. It can be within one genre or across genres (looking at one thematic area in texts from fiction, poetry and drama), at one specific moment in time (looking at differences and similarities in treatment of theme synchronically as in M1), or across periods (following the development of the treatment of a theme diachronically as in M2). Studying texts according to theme is useful since you are analysing in depth the authors message which is the very motivating force behind writing you ask what the author really wants to say, how s/he goes about saying it and how and why that differs from or reflects another authors view of a similar issue. The thematic approach often combines with the contextual or historical approach which means finding out what the information you can gather concerning context can do to help in your deeper understanding of a text. This contextual information can concern the historical period in which a work was written, biographical information about the author, information about the socio-cultural context and information which places a work in a wider context than the purely national or literary one.

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QUICK REFERENCE

M1

The Synchronic Thematic Approach. World War I: Investigating and Presenting Theme World War I is a unique period in the development of literature for the outstanding quality and bulk of poetry produced at the time. The initial period of the war gave rise to patriotic poetry in which poets such as Rupert Brooke viewed war as a noble cause and death in war as a glorious end. The language of the poetry reflects its tone and is sweet and musical; imagery is idealized. As the war progressed, poets expressed their anger and disgust at the horrors of trench warfare. One of the most outspoken voices was that of Siegfried Sassoon who wrote direct and aggressive poems in colloquial language to express his disgust and to put over the truth about war. By 1917, soldiers on all sides were becoming war-weary, their poetry expressed feelings of frustration and futility or examined the human condition in a more detached and philosophical tone. Rosenberg comments on the fragility of joy and life, whereas Owen expresses a deep sadness and pity concerning so much suffering and death.

M2

The Diachronic Thematic Approach. War: Responsibility and Choice One approach to theme can be to see how specific messages concerning a common theme change and develop over a period of time for example: how do various poets and novelists reactions to the idea of responsibility and choice alter from the time of the Boer War, through the First and the Second World Wars, and on to the Vietnam War? THE BOER WAR The poem by Thomas Hardy, The Man He Killed, lays the blame at the feet of war, an abstract and curious force which Hardy sees as somehow altering human behaviour. The young soldier seems upset and baffled about what has occurred and in need of reassurance that his act was an inevitable result of the situation. THE FIRST WORLD WAR Siegfried Sassoon tells of the cowardice and incompetence of commanders and assigns much of the responsibility to them. THE SECOND WORLD WAR In the poem Vergissmeinnicht, Douglas clearly blames the inner nature of man. In Autobiography Adrian Henri highlights the responsibilities of those back home to maintain and reinforce community and patriotic feelings to render the war bearable, even pleasurable. In Going Back Penelope Lively deals with the delicate issue of choice regarding the adoption of a pacifist stance. Refugee Blues by W. H. Auden deals with one aspect of the plight of the Jews, a people left with no choices. Auden shows how this lack of choice and lack of identity left Jews in desperate and depressing situations. THE VIETNAM WAR In his protest song masters of war, Bob Dylan assigns blame to all the administrators to whom the war was useful politicians and their secret services and the industrial giants making money out of the arms race. Alice Walker brings home to us the consequences of war in her novel By the Light of My Fathers Smile and makes us think about its long-term effects and what our responsibilities are concerning war veterans.

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REVIEW A N D Module EXTENSION


key,
p. 63

1 The statements below are all incomplete quotations from the texts and documents which
in Module 1 outline how war poetry evolved as the conflict was being fought. Complete the quotations, write down the title and the author of the corresponding text or document and add the stage in which the text or the document was produced either in the initial stage (stage a) or after soldiers had had first-hand experience of the trench warfare (stage b). The sequence of texts and documents is not that of the Module. 1 Above all I am not (1) .......................................... with Poetry. My (2) .......................................... is war and the (3) .......................................... of War. Move him into the (1) .......................................... . Always it woke him even in (2) .......................................... . ... Woke once the clays of a (3) .......................................... star. ... O what made (4) .......................................... sunbeams toil / To break (5) .......................................... sleep at all? 3 And though we have our (1) .........................................., we know / What sinister (2) .......................................... lurks there. (3) .......................................... could drop from the dark / As easily as (4) .......................................... / But song only dropped / Like a blind mans (5) .......................................... on the sand / By (6) .......................................... tides. 4 5 Isnt this (1) .......................................... fighting (2) ..........................................? I have suffered seventh (1) .......................................... . I have not been at the front. I have been in (2) .......................................... of it. We had a march of 3 miles over shelled road, then nearly 3 along a (3) .......................................... trench. It was of course dark, too dark, and the ground was not mud; not sloppy mud, but an (4) .......................................... of sucking clay... relieved only by creaters full of (5) .......................................... . Men have been known to (6) .......................................... in them. 6 If I should (1) .........................................., think only this of me: / That theres some corner of a (2) .......................................... field / That is for ever (3) .......................................... . And think, this heart ... / (4) .......................................... somewhere back the thoughts by England given; / ... and gentleness, / In hearts at (5) .........................................., under an English heaven. 7 The (1) .......................................... tells us: When the boys come (2) .......................................... / They will not be the (3) ..........................................; for theyll have fought / In a (4) .......................................... cause; Were none of us the same, the boys reply. / For George lost both his (5) ..........................................; and Bills stone (6) .......................................... . 8 I only wish I were (1) .......................................... enough to go with (2) ..........................................!

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REVIEW A N D Module EXTENSION

In 1917, while in Britain on sick leave, Sassoon posted an anti-war protest to his commanding officer to explain his grounds for refusing to serve further in the army. The protest, which is an important document if you want to understand the soldiers changing attitude to war, was read out in the House of Commons on July 30, 1917 and printed in full in The Times the following day.

key, p. 63

1 Read Sassoons declaration against war.


a b c How had war changed in Sassoons view? What made Sassoon write his protest? Who does he attack?

10

I am making this statement as an act of willful1 defiance of military authority, because I believe the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that this war, upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation, has now become a war of aggression and conquest. I believe that the purposes for which I and my fellow soldiers entered upon this war should have been so clearly stated as to have made it impossible to change them, and that, had this been done, the objects which actuated us2 would now be attainable by negotiation. I have seen and endured the suffering of the troops, and I can no longer be a party to prolong these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust. I am not protesting against the conduct of the war, but against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed. On behalf of those who are suffering now I make this protest against the deception which is being practised on them; also I believe that I may help to destroy the callous3 complacence4 with which the majority of those at home regard the continuance of agonies which they do not share, and which they have not sufficient imagination to realise.
(S. Sassoon, in J. Silkin, Out of Battle, The Poetry of the Great War, Oxford, OUP, 1978)

key,
p. 63

2 What is Sassoons attitude to his fellow soldiers? 3 Present the document to the teacher and to the class concentrating on the connections
you can establish (by comparison or contrast) with all the poems included in the Module. You may use the time line on p.19 as a visual aid.

key, p. 63

1. willful, done deliberately (deliberata). 2. actuated us, moved us to action (ci hanno spinto ad agire).

3. callous, without sympathy for the sufferings of other people (insensibile). 4. complacence, satisfaction (compiacimento).

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REVIEW A N D Module EXTENSION


key, p. 63

2
Authors Bob Dylan Keith Douglas Penelope Lively Thomas Hardy Siegfried Sassoon W. H. Auden Adrian Henri Alice Walker Wars

1 Associate each of the following works with its author and the war it describes.
Works Vergissmeinnicht Autobiography The Man He Killed masters of war Going Back The General Refugee Blues By the Light of My Fathers Smile

The Boer War The First World War The Second World War The Vietnam War

key, p. 63

2 For each of the works you have listed above, say whether they deal with the theme of
responsibility or choice and say in what way.

key, p. 63

3 Read the following quotations from the works listed in activity 1 and say where they are
from and what their significance is. a) "... looking for German spies everywhere Oh yes, I did my bit for my country that long dark winter," b) "like judas of old / you lie and deceive" c) "Yes, quaint and curious war is!" d) "For here the lover and killer are mingled / who had one body and one heart."

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REVIEW A N D Module EXTENSION

You are going to read an extract from an autobiographical account of the youth of Vera Brittain, an English feminist writer. Much of the account covers her experience in the First World War in which she served as a nurse. With this extract you will consider the theme of responsibility in a slightly different light.

key,
p. 63

1 Read the extract and say what the relationship is between Brittain and the soldier in the
account.

10

20

On Sunday morning, June 16th, I1 opened the Observer, which appeared to be chiefly concerned with the new offensive for the moment at a standstill2 in the Noyon-Montdidier sector of the Western Front, and instantly saw at the head of a column the paragraph for which I had looked so long and so fearfully: ITALIAN FRONT ABLAZE3 GUN DUELS FROM MOUNTAIN TO SEA BAD OPENING OF AN OFFENSIVE The following Italian official communiqu was issued yesterday: From dawn this morning the fire of the enemys artillery, strongly countered4 by our own, was intensified from the Langerina Valley to the sea. On the Asiago Plateau, to the east of the Brenta and on the middle Piave, the artillery struggle has assumed and maintains a character of extreme violence. There followed a quotation from the correspondent of the Corriere della Sera, who described the Austrian attack on the Italian positions in the neighbourhood of the Tonale Pass. () Im afraid, I thought, feeling suddenly cold in spite of the warm June sunlight that streamed through the dining-room window. True, the communiqu didnt specifically mention the British, but then there was always a polite pretence5 on the part of the Press that the Italians were defending the heights above Vicenza entirely on their own. The loss of a few small positions, however quickly recaptured, meant as it always did in dispatches that the defenders were taken by surprise and the enemy offensive had temporarily succeded. Could I hope that Edward6 had missed it through being still in hospital? I hardly thought so; he had said as long ago as June 3rd that he expected to be back again in a few days. However, there was nothing to do in the midst of ones family but practise that concealment of fear which the long years of war had instilled, thrusting7 it inward until ones subconscious became a regular prison-house of apprehensions and inhibition which were later to take their revenge. A day or two later, more details were published of the fighting in Italy, and I learnt that the Sherwood Foresters had been involved in the show on the Plateau. After that I made no pretence at doing anything but wander restlessly round Kensington or up and down the flat, and, though my father retired glumly8 to bed every evening at nine o clock, I gave up writing

1. 2. 3. 4.

I, it refers to Vera Brittain herself. at a standstill, held up (a un punto fermo). ablaze, under heavy fire (in fiamme). countered, opposed (contrastata).

5. 6. 7. 8.

pretence, false claim (finzione). Edward, Vera Brittains brother. thrusting, pushing forcefully (spingendo). glumly, in low spirits (tristemente).

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REVIEW A N D Module EXTENSION


30

40

the semi-fictitious record which I had begun of my life in France. Somehow I couldnt bring myself even to wrap up the Spectator and Saturday Review that I sent every week to Italy, and they remained in my bedroom, silent yet eloquent witnesses to the dread which my father and I, determinedly conversing on commonplace topics, each refused to put into words. By the following Saturday we had still heard nothing of Edward. The interval usually allowed for casualties9 after a battle was seldom so long as this, and I began with an artificial sense of lightness unaccompanied by real conviction, to think that there was perhaps, after all, no news to come. I had just announced to my father, as we sat over tea in the dining-room, that I really must do up Edwards papers and take them to tha post office before it closed for the week-end, when there came the sudden loud clattering10 at the front-door knocker that always meant a telegram. For a moment I thought that my legs would not carry me, but they behaved quite normally as I got up and went to the door. I knew what was in the telegram I had known for a week but because the persistent hopefulness of the human heart refuses to allow intuitive certainty to persuade the reason of that which it knows, I opened and read it in a tearing anguish of suspense. Regret to inform you Captain E. H. Brittain M. C. killed in action Italy June 15th. No answer, I told the boy mechanically, and handed the telegram to my father, who had followed me into the hall. As we went back into the hall dining-room I saw, as though I had never seen them before, the bowl of blue delphiniums11 on the table; their intense colour, vivid, ethereal, seemed too radiant for earthly flowers.
(V. Brittain, Testament of Youth, London, Virago, 1999)

key, p. 63

2 Review the subject matter of the extract by putting these events in the correct
chronological order and by writing in dates where possible.

Vera feels cold, as if having a premonition of her brothers death. There is a loud knock at the door its the telegram announcing Veras brothers death. Vera drops her pretence of calm. Vera learns that her brothers battalion was involved in the fighting. Vera reads the newspaper headline about fighting on the Italian front. Vera tries to hide her fear from her family and keep her feelings under control. Vera gives up writing her autobiography. A week later there is still no news about Veras brother. Vera hopes her brother has missed the fighting by being in hospital. Vera cant bring herself to post the usual newspapers to her brother.

9. casualties, person killed or injured (vittime). 10. clattering, resounding noise (bussare).

11. delphiniums, type of flowers, usually blue (delfini).

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REVIEW A N D Module EXTENSION


key, p. 63

3 An autobiography usually covers long periods in a


persons life. In the extract you have read, just one week is described in great detail. a b c Why do you think Brittain chose to do that? Does this choice concerning the structure help reinforce her message in this section? Why/Why not? What does Brittain want her readers to know and to learn about war?
Vera Brittain (1893-1970), author of autobiography, poetry and fiction. During World War I she served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse, an experience which she recounted as part of her autobiographical Testament of Youth, 1933.

key,
p. 63

4 Look in the text for evidence that Brittain is blaming someone or something for her
brothers death. a b Can you find any evidence of her assigning blame? What does her choice of writing about her brothers death tell you about her personal response to war?

Australian War Memorial, 1983

Australian War Memorial, 1983

Women played an active role in World War I, as these posters show.

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Australian War Memorial, 1983

The Good Book Guide, 93, 1996

G E T R E A DY F O R Module TE STI N G

Write your score

Band 49 61

Action Go on Review Repeat

.................... / 61

34 48 0 33

INTERNAL CERTIFICATION
STEP

One

key,
p. 64 20
*

1 For each quotation (A) reply to the questions which accompany it, then match it with the
expectation, feeling or attitude the lines express (B). A 1 If I should die, think only this of me Who does I refer to? 2 There shall be / In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; Why richer? 3 Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, What is the subject of Gave? 4 And think, this heart, all evil shed away Whose heart? 5 her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; What does her refer to?
STEP

B a) The speaker feels gratitude for the generosity of his mother country. b) The speaker loves his mother country. c) The speaker expects to die at the front. d) Death in war is seen as a purifying experience. e) The speaker is proud of being English and sacrificing his life for his country.

Two

key,
p. 64 21

1 The essay below is about the poem They by Sassoon. Complete it using the following words given in jumbled order.
landscape attack imaginary worse glorifying literal join first-hand irony wounds bitter counterpart boys confronted mutilations front figurative any poem Bishop The poem is an (1) .......................................... dialogue between a Bishop and the soldiers who have experimented the suffering of war. The Bishop exhorts the soldiers to (2) .......................................... the war. The boys reply by listing the (3) .......................................... and agony they have gained. The boys actual experience of war is (4) .......................................... with the Bishops view of war which is high-flown and (5) .......................................... only because it is divorced from actual experience. The result is a harsh (6) .......................................... on those who support war without having (7) .......................................... experience of the event. The theme is that (8) .......................................... war brings about pain and suffering which produce a change for the (9) .......................................... and is expressed through bitter (10) .......................................... . The poem is built on the clash between the type of language used by the (11) .......................................... (which is subjective, evaluative, (12) .......................................... and high-flown) and the type of language used by the (13) .......................................... (which is factual, descriptive, (14) .........................................., conversational, down-to-earth). Nash

* The numbers on the left indicate the maximum number of points for each exercise.

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GET READY FOR TESTING

The painting by Paul (15).........................................., We Are Making a New World, can be regarded as a visual (16) .......................................... to Sassoons poem, especially to stanza two. For example, the (17) .......................................... devastated by war can be mentally associated to the (18) .......................................... and sufferings of the soldiers who have been fighting at the (19) .......................................... . The title of the painting echoes the same (20) .......................................... irony which runs through the (21) .......................................... .
STEP

Three

key,
p. 64 20

1 You have analysed the three texts listed below. Write the appropriate letter (a, b or c) next
to each question. a) Returning, We Hear the Larks by Rosenberg b) Futility by Owen c) A Letter from the Trenches by Owen 10 In which text do we find a logical movement from a specific event to a bitter generalisation? 20 In which text is the mood one of surprise and joy? 30 Which text describes war as seventh hell? 40 Which text can be identified as a bitter comment on the creation? 50 Which text hints at the harsh contrast between the life at the front and the life at home? 60 Which text ends introducing two powerful similes? 70 Which text speaks about military action on Sunday? 80 Which text is not set at night? 90 Which text contains the word stir? 10 In which text does the central event happen after an exhausting military action?

NES (Nuovo Esame di Stato)


The Essay
1 Write an essay on the following topic: The Great War: how facts are transfigured in poetry
(250-300 words).

2 Write a short paragraph in which you explain the causes for the type of answer the boys give to the Bishop in the poem They by Sassoon (80-100 words).

The Oral Report


1 Consider the two posters on p. 5 and associate words from the poem The Soldier
by R. Brooke to what they show (You can write the words in the margins of the posters and draw arrows to show the connections). Then use the pictures as visual aids to present the content and theme of the poem by Brooke to your classmates.

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G E T R E A DY F O R Module TE STI N G

2
b c 9 a b c

Write your score

Band 19 24

Action Go on Review Repeat

.................... / 24

14 18 0 13

INTERNAL CERTIFICATION
STEP

One

his staff and his map his plan of attack Sassoon assigns most of the blame for wars atrocities on: politicians commanders soldiers

1 Choose the best answer a, b or c. ( key, p. 64) 9 *


1 a b c 2 a b c 3 a b c 4 a b c 5 a b c 6 a b c 7 a b c 8 a The Boer War took place in: the last half of the 19th century the first half of the 20th century on the cusp of the 19th/20th centuries the story of Thomas Hardys poem The Man He Killed is told in: a small English village a small South African village a small African bar The soldier who speaks about the war through the poem seems: disgusted and angry confident and blas hesitant and traumatised Hardy seems to blame the atrocities of war: on the soldiers of the British army on the people back home who dont react on the strange effects of the state of war itself Sassoons poem The General was written in: 1902 1917 1939 The people who comment in the poem are: the General and the poet two soldiers and the General two soldiers, the General and the poet The tone used for Harrys comment is: ironical humorous sentimental Complete the final line of the poem: But he did for them both by his cheery goodbye

STEP

Two

1 Choose the best answer a, b or c. ( key, p. 64) 11


1 a b c 2 a b c 3 a b c 4 a b c 5 a b c 6 a b c The Second World War raged in Europe: from 1914 to 1918 from 1930 to 1945 from 1939 to 1945 The term axis powers refers to: Britain, France and Russia Germany, Italy and Japan The USA and Russia Douglas poems title means: the battle scene the photograph dont forget me The two important and symbolic objects near the body of the German soldier are: a photo and a gun a copybook and a tank a dead girl and some military equipment In his poem Douglas contemplates: the sadness of the soldiers girlfriend the lucky escape of the British soldiers mans dual nature Adrian Henrys poem Autobiography contains: multiple references to wartime memories details of wartime atrocities details of the bombing of an air raid shelter

* The numbers on the left indicate the maximum number of points for each exercise. De Luca, Ellis, Pace, Ranzoli - Books and Bookmarks, cod. 2632 Loescher Editore

61

GET READY FOR TESTING

7 a b c 8 a b c 9 a b c 10 a b c

The child in the poem seems: excited and involved terrified and traumatised sad and tired In the extracts read, Penelope Livelys novel Going Back deals with the issue of: evacuation and separation Jews in exile the pacifist stance Lively presents a wide range of views on the issue mainly through: dialogue interior monologue description W.H. Audens poem Refugee Blues highlights the plight of Jews in exile by: presenting us with a series of descriptive statements presenting us with a series of symbols presenting us with a series of contrasting statements

STEP

Three

1 Choose the best answer a, b or c. ( key, p. 64) 4


1 a b c 2 a b c 3 a b c 4 a b c Bob Dylans protest song called masters of war criticises and blames: the soldiers who enlisted the Vietnamese the administrators of war, such as politicians and industry Alice Walkers novel By the Light of My Fathers Smile focuses on: the horrors of the life in Vietnam the plight of the veterans of the war the injuries of the soldiers One of the main protagonists of the novel, Mannie, seems to: be critical of the care he received when injured and in hospital have contradictory feelings of pride and anger about the war be unable to give up the life of a soldier The main female character, Magdalena, seems: curious about but upset by the war angry and rebellious about the war indifferent about and disinterested in the war

11 Complete this line from the poem: If youve got no passport... a you must stay here b you are officially dead c you have no rights

NES (Nuovo Esame di Stato)


The Essay
1 Choose one of the following themes of war writing and discuss its interpretation in one or more of the works you have read in this Module (200-250 words).
The position of those left at home while their loved ones go to fight. The position of the soldier in relation to those in command. The motivation or lack of motivation behind a conflict for example the gaining of territory, the belief in the superiority of a race, financial and economic motives, etc.

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REVIEW A N D Keys EXTENSION

REVIEW A N D Keys EXTENSION

Module 1
1 1 1 concerned, 2 subject, 3 pity, from Preface to The Collected Poems by Wilfred Owen, stage b. / 2 1 sun, 2 France, 3 cold, 4 fatuous, 5 earths, from Futility by Owen, stage b / 3 1 lives, 2 threat, 3 death, 4 song, 5 dreams, 6 dangerous, from Returning, We Hear the Larks by Isaac Rosenberg, stage b. / 4 1 worth, 2 for, from Your Countrys Call, a recruiting poster, Great Britain, stage a. / 5 1 hell, 2 front, 3 flooded, 4 octopus, 5 water, 6 drown, from Wilfred Owen: Collected Letters by Wilfred Owen, stage b / 6 1 die, 2 foreign, 3 England, 4 gives, 5 peace, from The Soldier by Rupert Brooke, stage a / 7 1 boys, 2 back, 3 same, 4 just, 5 legs, 6 blind, from They by Siegfried Sassoon, stage b. / 8 1 young, 2 you, from The Veterans Farewell, a recruiting poster, Great Britain, stage a.

Module 1
1 a) Sassoon had become totally alienated from the war and its aims: war had lost all positive or moral meaning: war had become a criminal folly. / b) He was troubled by the senseless continuation of the war. / c) He attacks the tactics of the incompetent generals and the attitudes of those at home (ironmongers) who were ignorant of what the ordinary soldiers had to endure. The poet feels very close to his fellow soldiers and is deeply moved by the suffering and death he sees around him. In a sense he feels responsible for them: since he is a poet and therefore capable of expressing feelings and thoughts clearly, he assumes the role of speaking against war in their names. The document has connections by contrast with Brookes The Soldier (which conveys an idealised view of war) and several points of similarity with Sassoons poem They (which emphasises the contrast between those who send the others to fight at the front and those who suffer first-hand experience of war), with Rosenbergs Returning, We Hear the Larks (in which war is perceived as a mischievous presence which can hide in the dark and strike unexpectedly any time), with Owens Futility (which expresses the absurdity of war and the poets sadness at the futile death of so many boys).

Module 2
1 The Boer War: Thomas Hardy, The Man He Killed / The First World War: Siegfried Sassoon, The General / The Second World War: Keith Douglas, Vergissmeinnicht; W. H. Auden, Refugee Blues; Adrian Henri, Autobiography; Penelope Lively, Going Back / The Vietnam War: Bob Dylan, masters of war; Alice Walker, By the Light of My Fathers Smile The Man He Killed: responsibility (the state of war is responsible for the mens actions) / The General: responsibility (commanders are responsible for the atrocities of war) / Vergissmeinnicht: responsibility (mans inner nature is responsible for the killing) / Refugee Blues: choice (the Jews in exile had few choices open to them) / Autobiography: responsibility (the responsibility of those back home to maintain a positive spirit) / Going Back: choice (choosing to take a pacifist stance) / masters of war: responsibility (the role of politicians, administrators and big business) / By the Light of My Fathers Smile: responsibility (responsibility for the veterans of war) a) is from Autobiography. It reveals the little boy's desire to be busy and involved in the war spirit. / b) is from masters of war. It is a powerful simile to describe the lying, deceit, untrustworthiness of those who direct and finance war. / c) is from The Man He Killed. The soldier is trying to come to terms with his trauma. / c) is from Vergissmeinnicht. These lines tell us how in each person we have many potential facets including the lover and the killer.

Module 2
1 2 3 the soldier is her brother 5 (June 16th), 1, 9, 6, 4 (June 17th/18th), 3, 7, 10, 8 (June 24th?), 2 a) When a short period of time is described over many lines we can read much more detail about events and feelings thus the importance of the events and feelings are emphasised to the reader. / b) she certainly gives us a clear idea of what an important time this was for her, that her brothers death affected her greatly. / c) that each set of numbers and statistics in reports and newspapers hides innumerable individual and personal tragedies as those left behind come to terms with the results of war. a) She doesnt assign blame. / b) She feels responsibility as a writer to let people know about the tragedies of war.

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G E T R E A DY F O R Keys TE STI N G

11
Module 2
STEP
1

Module 1
STEP
1

One

One Two Three

I refers to the poet. / 2 Because it contains the dust of a soldier who died for his country. / 3 The subject is England. / 4 The heart of the speaker. / 5 Her refers to England. 1c), 2e), 3a), 4d), 5b)

1c, 2a, 3c, 4c, 5b, 6c, 7a, 8c, 9b

STEP
1

STEP
1

Two

1c, 2b, 3c, 4a, 5c, 6a, 7a, 8c, 9a, 10c, 11b

1 imaginary, 2 join, 3 wounds, 4 confronted, 5 glorifying, 6 attack, 7 first-hand, 8 any, 9 worse, 10 irony, 11 Bishop, 12 figurative, 13 boys, 14 literal, 15 Nash, 16 counterpart, 17 landscape, 18 mutilations, 19 front, 20 bitter, 21 poem

STEP
1

1c, 2b, 3b, 4a

STEP
1

Three

1b, 2a, 3c, 4b, 5c, 6a, 7c, 8b, 9b, 10a

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Appendix

De Luca, Ellis, Pace, Ranzoli - Books and Bookmarks, cod. 2632 Loescher Editore

Cross-curricular Cards
HISTORY

World War I (1914-18)


Marne. In October 1914 the Western front had already stabilised along a double trench line running from Switzerland to the Channel and hardly moved in the next three years. The Eastern Front, which ran through the heart of Poland, was more mobile and did not know the hell of trench warfare. 1915: Italy left the Triple Alliance and entered the war on the side of the Allies, aiming to gain its lost territories. Another front was set up in the north eastern part of Italy, the site of some of the most bloody and decisive battles. The war changed from a war of movement to a war of position. 1916: a Russian counter-offensive pushed back the Germans on the Eastern front, but soldiers were killed by the thousands every hour on the Western front at Somme and Verdun. 1917: Germans and Austrians regained their positions on the Eastern front, taking advantage of Russian internal difficulties due to the Bolshevik revolution. Russia withdrew from the war. Another bitter defeat for the Entente was on the Italian front at Caporetto, with the withdrawal of the Italian front as far back as Mount Grappa. Russian withdrawal, however, was counterbalanced by the intervention of the US on the side of the Allies because its maritime economy was severely threatened by the extension of unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic on the part of the Germans. 1918: the US entry was decisive in ending the conflict. The war ended in 1918 with the defeat of Germany and the collapse of the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires. Peace Treaties Before the end of the war, President Woodrow Wilson had issued his famous Fourteen Points on which peace should be negotiated. His main emphasis was on the right to self-determination and the need for a league, later the League of Nations, to preserve peace. The peace settlement of Versailles of 1919, however, because of its too severe treatment of Germany, created grievances and aroused widespread criticism for its alleged injustice and severity and is now considered one of the main long-term causes of World War II.

The early years of the 20th century were characterised by a gradual realignment of the Powers which brought Britain, France and Russia together in a Triple Entente aimed at containing German expansion, while Germany joined with Austria and Italy in a Triple Alliance with defensive purposes. No longer checked by the policy of balance of Bismarck, Europe was rapidly heading towards war which was supported and welcomed by a militaristic-minded European generation emotionally prepared for what was regarded as an inevitable clash. Long-term causes The long terms causes for the war are to be traced as far back as 1870. They can be summarised as follows: growing tension between France and Germany after the defeat of France in 1870 growing power of Germany both at economic and military level colonial expansion and rivalry among the countries for colonial control development of armaments the Eastern Question, derived from the weakening of the Turkish Empire and the growing Slav nationalistic aspirations. Immediate cause the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand at Sarajevo on 18 June 1914 by a Serbian nationalist. The outbreak of war Austria attacked Serbia. Serbia was backed by Russia which aimed at gaining an outlet on the Mediterranean. Germany sided with Austria, backed by the declining Ottoman empire fighting for its survival. France joined the war to support Russia, and the violation of Belgian neutrality on the part of Germany brought Britain into the war. The local conflict soon transformed into a world conflict, including the colonies. When World War I broke out in 1914, it was generally held that it would be brief and would not necessitate mass mobilisation, but in the event it turned out to be a long and bitter struggle that lasted five years. The five years of war 1914: After the shock assault of Germany on the Western front, when Paris itself was threatened, the Germans were eventually stopped at the battle of the

1 How could you exploit the information as a background for an oral report about World War I
literature?

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APPENDIX

HISTORY

World War II (1939-45)


1941: German invasion of Yugoslavia and attack on the USSR the Japanese attack the American fleet at Pearl Harbour and the US join the war. 1942: climax of power for Germany, Italy and Japan counteroffensive of English and American troops in North Africa. 1943: Russian counteroffensive on the Eastern front US counteroffensive in the Pacific landing in Sicily of British and American soldiers collapse of Italian Fascist State Italy split between North and South, between the Republic of Sal and the Monarchy and between the regular army and Partisan groups research started on atomic power. 1944: landing in Normandy of the Allies and liberation of Paris. 1945: end of war on the Western front, with Mussolini murdered on 28 April and Hitler committing suicide on 30 April. on the Pacific front atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the orders of President Truman. Peace Treaties The end of the war saw all the countries involved destroyed morally and materially. Only the United States emerged from World War II as the most powerful nation in the world, followed by the USSR. The Peace Treaties determined clear spheres of influence. Lack of agreement on German unification brought about the division of Berlin into four Zones under the control of the US, Great Britain, France and the USSR and marked the beginning of the Cold War, a period of tension between the Unites States and the Soviet Union. As Winston Churchill the British Prime Minister at the time put it in a speech in 1946 an iron curtain divided the Western world from the Communist world.

The Versailles settlement after World War I, though very unsatisfactory, held for almost ten years, but the beginning of the 1930s saw its total collapse. The world economic crisis of 1929-33 with its ensuing mass unemployment led to political unrest and hostility between the States. The League of Nations revealed its weakness as an institution as it was unable to mantain peace in two major international crises: the Japanese conquest of Manchuria in 1931-33 and Mussolinis conquest of Abyssinia in 1935. Long-term causes The long-term causes of the war are to be traced back to the grievances unsolved by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 which resurfaced in the 1930s with Hitlers policy of aggression and the weakness of the League of Nations. They can be summarised as follows: the withdrawal of Hitler from the League of Nations in 1933 to reverse the humiliation of the Versailles Treaty Hitlers setting up of conscription and the creation of a military air force Hitlers policy of acquiring Lebensraum (living space) for German people in the East at the expense of the Slavs Hitlers reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1936 the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) German occupation of Austria and its annexation (Anschluss) in 1938 Germany-Russia non-aggression pact 1939. Immediate cause Germanys invasion of Poland in 1939. The outbreak of war After the invasion of Poland, the British and French first issued an ultimatum and then declared war. The seven years of war 1939: defeat of Poland, divided between Germany and Russia. 1940: Germany attacks on the Western front German troops enter Paris and Italy joins the war birth of French Resistance movement led by Charles de Gaulle establishment of new fronts in Greece and in the colonies.

1 How could you exploit the information as a background for an oral report about World War II
literature?

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T H E M E : WA R

ITALIAN LITERATURE

Italian Literary Views of the Great War: Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970)


on his traumatic first-hand experience of trench warfare. The first ones appeared in Il porto sepolto (The Buried Port) in 1916 and were included in his first collection Allegria di naufragi (Gay Shipwrecks) in 1919. The poet gives a truthful description of the trench experience, but at the same time goes beyond that experience to meditate on life.

Giuseppe Ungaretti was one of the leading twentiethcentury poets in Italy. At the outbreak of World War I he enlisted in the Italian army and served on the Isonzo front from 1915 until early 1918. In the spring, he was transferred to the Western Front: in his poem, Fiumi (Rivers), he alludes to his service on both fronts. Ungaretti wrote several war poems which draw directly

1 Read the poems Veglia and Fratelli.


a What aspects of war do they concentrate on? b How does life appear in the light of war?
Brothers

Veglia Cima Quattro il 23 dicembre 1915 Unintera nottata buttato vicino a un compagno massacrato con la sua bocca digrignata volta al plenilunio con la congestione delle sue mani penetrata nel mio silenzio ho scritto lettere piene damore Non sono mai stato tanto attaccato alla vita

Vigil

Fratelli Mariano il 15 luglio 1916 Di che reggimento siete fratelli? Parola tremante nella notte
5

What regiment dyou belong to brothers? Word shaking in the night Leaf barely born In the simmering air involuntary revolt of the man present at his brittleness Brothers

A whole night long crouched close to one of our men butchered with his clenched mouth grinning at the full moon with the congestion of his hands thrust right into my silence Ive written letters filled with love I have never been so coupled to life

Foglia appena nata Nellaria spasimante involontaria rivolta delluomo presente alla sua fragilit

10

10

Fratelli

15

The poems Ungaretti wrote during World War I broke with a traditional use of language and conventional poetic forms.

2 Read the two texts again and comment on the innovative aspects of language and form. Consider the
words he chooses and look for the use he makes of the layout, stanzaic division, rhyme scheme, punctuation. Ungarettis war poems were translated and included in The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry, London, Penguin Books, 1979 edited by John Silkin.

3 Compare the Italian text and the English version of the two poems. For each poem choose one or two English lines which in your view best render/s the Italian text.
Ungarettis poetry can be associated with the output of Sassoon ( p. 9), Rosenberg ( p. 14) and Owen ( p. 15).

4 Choose one of his World War I poems and compare/contrast it with one of the English war poems
in the volume.

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