World War I In Literature

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Due to the vast growth and spread of education in Britain in the decades prior to World War I British citizens to include soldiers of all walks of life were literate. With an overall literate community when World War I began and caused such mass devastation many took to pen and paper to express their thought and document their individual experiences as well as tell the story of others (“World War I in Literature,” n.d.). Many women and men begin to document their stories during and after World War I. Katherine Mansfield said "I feel in the profoundest sense that nothing can ever be the same -- that, as artists, we are traitors if we feel otherwise: we have to take it into account and find new expressions, new moulds for our thoughts and feelings."…show more content…
The grand and vast advancement did not lead to peace but instead unto a devastating war that caused a vast loss of human life with no apparent gain (“World War I in Literature,” n.d.). World War I showed massive brutality and violence. Witnessing these outrageous events unfold led to a flood of literature regarding the effects of the war on not only the poets of war but also mankind (“World War I in Literature,” n.d.). The writings during World War I are commonly understood to consist of poetries, books and drama. Many journals, letters, and written accounts of life during this period are frequently included in this category. The writings most often taught today in our universities and schools are lyrics by Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. The poetry recited, documented and discussed widely are most notably from Isaac Rosenberg, Ivor Gurney, Charles Sorley. Edward Thomas, and David Jones (“World War I in Literature,” n.d.). During World War I a lot of authors, journalists and critics turned to writing to document the extreme demand on the young men fighting in the war. Many British women also produced literature regarding the war. Frequently women wrote testaments of the influence and distress the war had on not only the soldiers, but also on the home and on their land (“World War I in Literature,” n.d.). World War I devastated the human advancement…show more content…
During World War I we saw new names to weapons, equipment, and military tactics (Cooping 2012). This new language was introduced continuously during World War I. Many believed that this new slang was due to the rich combination of the soldiers’ dialects, drawls and twangs, ethnicity, spoken languages, and even social history (Cooping 2012). Not all phrases introduced during this time stuck but some remain today. Archie was a British slang word used to describe German anti-aircraft gunfire. The word basket case is used today usually describing a person who makes unwise mistakes but the original sense of the word was used to describe a soldier who was so severely wounded that he would have to be carried away from the battleground in a barrow or basket (Jones 2014). The word crump is known as a heavy hit or blow but after 1914 the term crump-hole was used to describe the crater that was left behind after an explosion from heavy military artillery (Jones 2014). Another word taken and revamped during World War I is the adjective shell-shocked. It can originally be seen back as early as 1898 when it was used to describe being subjected to heavy fire. The first real cases of shell-shock arose during the First World War. British Medical Journal dated January 30, 1915 recorded: “Only one case of shell shock has come under my observation. A Belgian officer was the victim. A shell burst
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