To what extent is Laurence Binyon’s ‘For the Fallen’ typical of the way the anthology’s poems present those who died in the war?

Essay by SadieCallison97High School, 12th gradeA, December 2014

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Sadie Callison

To what extent is Laurence Binyon's 'For the Fallen' typical of the way the anthology's

poems present those who died in the war?

The way Stallworthy's Oxford Book of War Poetry presents those who have died in the war

is typical to the poem 'For the Fallen' by Laurence Binyon. Compared to other poems

regarding death in the anthology, 'For the Fallen' presents the deaths of those who fought

in the war in a prestigious way, presenting a more prominent element of pride of the men

rather than mourning. The way Binyon presents the soldiers is positive. He describes the

soldiers in a positive light; "young, straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow". This

method of describing the soldiers differs to other poems in the anthology, because poems

such as "The Rear-Guard" by Siegfried Sassoon describe the soldiers when they are dead;

"soft, unanswering heap", and by describing the soldiers when they were alive, Binyon is

creating a more positive atmosphere and a light hearted atmosphere to the poem, because

the soldiers are remembered in a good way.

The way that Binyon portrays the death of the soldiers as timeless contrasts with those

who are still alive and fighting at the time the poem was written. He says 'they shall not

grow old, as we that are left grow old'. This explains that the soldiers who have died early

on in the war for their country die in body but not in spirit, and will be remembered by

England, whereas the soldiers who are still fighting or survive from the war will die naturally

later in time and will eventually be forgotten as the war comes to an end.

The way Binyon personifies England is similar to Rupert...