Comparison Essay: 'The Soldier' and 'Disabled'

Essay by PinkpandaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, June 2014

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Often others may try to sway us into thinking in a particular way. These influences may be optimistic or sinister, but all have the underlining foundation for us to make decisions with an understanding of their consequences. In the poems, "The Soldier" by Rupert Broke and "Disabled" by Wilfred Owen, a memorable idea in the text is that propaganda is a powerful tool in influencing one's decision making. This is highlighted especially under the contrasting purposes of the two poems. Both war poems reflects the poet's different feelings and presenting their views of war in radically different ways. The poets have polarised views of war, where Brooke crafts it in a reverent and patriotic way, referring to the possibility of death as a noble cause. This is at odds with how Wilfred Owen views the reality and horror of war, as his poem is written in a depressing tone. However, both poems are based on the common foundation of propaganda as a manipulative force in changing the way people interpret things. Various techniques are utilised to emphasise why this idea is memorable. 'The Soldier' is a sonnet that finds a soldier speculating about his possible death as he goes away to war, which he feels should not be mourned but understood as part of a selfless tribute to his country, England. Brooke presents an idealistic view of war, even "If I should die, think only this of me: that there's some foreign corner of a foreign field that is forever England". The word choice "only" conveys a singular purpose, which shows the soldier values patriotism over his own life and thus the idea of "group over oneself". A tone of selflessness and patriotism is contained in the command to "think only this". The notion that this land will "forever"...