Key Words: Great War, disillusionment, dehumanization. Impact of the Great War in T.S.Eliot’s The Wasteland. War, wherever and whenever it occurs has a deadly and devastating effect not only on the countries concerned but also on entire globe in one way or the other. The First World War or the Great War had a deep seeded impact upon the minds of the citizens of this world. The Great War started on 28th of July, 1914 and ended up on 11thof November, 1918, so, almost four and a half years witnessed this great destructive war resulting in around 16 million deaths.The mortality rate was very high because of greater involvement of science and technology.
World War One was a time of struggle in Europe. Many factors lead to great tensions in Europe, enlarging the need for a war. World War I was immediately precipitated by the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary by a Serbian nationalist in 1914. There were many factors that had led toward war. Most of these causes and events are classified into five main themes:
There were thousands of battlefronts and warsites. This horrible war was responsible on human lost more than any other war. Many lives were lost in the air, on land and in the sea. It was a total war where all countries involved which included nearly the entire world. Each country had to apply all their resources into the war effort.
The Treaty Of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles was a 15 part long essay that covered the end of World War I. It was signed on June 28th and included 440 articles, most of which concerned Germany. In this essay, I will go over the effects of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany, as it had a very lasting effect on the people of Germany and set the stage for Hitler’s takeover. The Treaty basically collapsed Germany’s economy and due to the demanding nature of things included in the Treaty (such as reparations), thousands starved. Germany was basically forced to take credit for the entire war, and was forced to pay $33 billion marks in reparations due to Parts VIII and IX of the Treaty (originally, they were supposed to pay $63 billion
Especially within both the World Wars, figures such as Archduke Ferdinand, Chamberlain, Hitler, Winston, Stalin, and the League of Nations, to name a few, have gone through their respective struggles as they deal with persecution and salvation. Truly an uphill battle, these characters fought against their oppositions to achieve their goals, and paid the price. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the prince of Austria before his untimely death, was shot and killed on the day of June 28th, 1914, his wedding anniversary. (“Archduke Franz Ferdinand Assassinated”, 2014) It was because of the disapproval of his wife, who was not technically royal, that brought about his doom. This single event broke out into what we now know as WWI.
War is often seen as a means to an end, but to some, the casualties of war are far too significant to justify. Throughout the centuries, there have been plenty of wars, some legitimate and some that without reason. But regardless of the reasons, the casualties of war remain the same, loss of human life. In his 1917 poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” British poet Wilfred Owen describes the darker side of the war. He illustrates what it is was like for the young men on the battlefield and how the world reacted to the war.
The Soldier by Rupert Brooke and Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen are both poems with the theme of war and are examples of the author’s perception of war. Rupert Brooke expresses his love for England in ‘The Soldier’ through a patriotic tone and a sense of idealism. In ‘Dulce et Decorum Est”, Wilfred Owen tells us the bitter reality about the ‘glory’ for dying for one’s country. The poem has a sense of realism. Rupert Brooke was an English poet well known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the World War 1.
However, the overall process of war is still imprinted upon the lives of many who remember exactly what happened and what they went through during the time of the war. People suffer from PTSD because of wars. It is a disorder caused by the extreme and acute stress faced by people in a traumatizing situation and the Vietnam War left thousands of soldiers with PTSD on both ends of the war. Soldiers were assigned tasks such as maiming, torturing and killing thousands of Vietnamese who came in their way and
Nationalism often gave citizens over-confidence in their country’s government and military strength. These beliefs often led nationalist to demonize rival countries, and think of them as deceitful or uncivilized (“Nationalism as cause”). Nationalism led to World War 1 since it drove countries against each other, as nationalists were all trying to prove their country to be superior. For example, a nationalist action that relates to World War 1 was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Many nationalist organizations such as the Black Hand inspired the assassination of Ferdinand, which was an event that directly led to World War 1.
The great paradox is that each and every dictator accumulates such power, climbing the ladder of free speech and after attaining the peak, suppressing the others by not gifting that ladder of speech. European nations faced a great havoc in the 19th century. The catastrophic World Wars I and II not only made them a ‘waste land’ but shattered the peace, integrity among the entire mankind. The experiences – pain, suffering, trauma, dislocation and the mental agony, and the treatment of these emotions are clearly portrayed in the literary works of that period as the War literature. The ugly larger political and war realities are well revealed in these War literary works.