Note the term “you” throughout Sassoon’s poems; who is “you”? We encounter this “you” in “Repression of War Experience,” as well. A related question: who are the various “he’s” that appear throughout these poems? What do we know about these figures?
“He” is usually used to describe the memory of someone, like in Death Bed, but it can also be used to represent war as a whole. Lots of men at war go through these things, so the story of many men at war can be told through the story of one.”You” are the people of the home country in general. Condescending attitude towards them.
In Does It Matter, “you” are the people on the homefront who believe that it’s good for people to fight for their country, because they don’t understand the horrors that go on there and how it can permanently affect someone. Having permanent physical or mental damage is not worth the fact that people are kind to you and respect you for being in the war.In Glory of Women, “you” represents specifically the German mother but also represents people from the home country in general. People idolize the soldiers without really knowing what’s going on.
Think about the depiction of pain in these poems.
Does Sassoon represent pain differently than Owen?
. Reflect on the representation of sound. What sounds proliferate in these poems, and why is sound significant?
Sassoon imagines the post-war moment in a number of his poems. How does he depict this moment? Spend some time with “Repression of War Experience,” and think about how he imagines reading (or not reading) in relationship to military participation.