Brutal Reality of War in Winifred M. Letts' The Deserter and Siegfried Sassoon's The Hero

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Brutal Reality of War in Winifred M. Letts' The Deserter and Siegfried Sassoon's The Hero

Both Winifred M. Letts and Siegfried Sassoon have strong views on the war; however they both express themselves using different language.

Winifred M. Letts chose her words carefully to put the reader on the side of the Deserter using rhetorical questions as in line 6,

"But who can judge him, you or I?"

This makes it seem like the deserter running away, was a natural response to his surroundings, and is asking if you would do or feel any different.

In line 5, she uses the phrase,

"Just that"

This gives the impression that it was a very simple decision for the Deserter to turn and run because
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This again makes the reader sympathise with him, and have a slight amount of admiration for him, as throughout the poem they have been put in his place, which makes the reader think about what they would do in a similar situation.

The Language all the way through the poem is in favour of the Deserter, using rhetorical questions, and fearful words such as,

"Dogged by night and day", "Wild eyes", "Death" and "gripped". All of these words give the overall impression that the Deserter was trapped in the war, and struggled to get out.

Conversely, Siegfried Sassoon's "The Hero", is a satirical poem. A lot of his words mean the opposite to their literal meaning.

For example, in line 8,

"Some gallant lies"

Means the son in the poem was made out by the Senior Officer, who wrote the letter, to be someone, a war hero, which he was not.

As in line 10,

"Her weak eyes"

He is referring to the mother of the sons eyes being filled with tears, they were also weak because she was old, and knew if she opened them fully she would surely cry, and the image of her being proud of her son would be gone. She would look weak to the Brother Officer.

Sassoon uses alteration to add emphases to the poem. For example in line 17,

"Blown to small bits"

And line 12,

"Brimmed with joy

Because he's been so brave, her glorious boy."

Most of his alliteration is "B"

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