Jessie Pope's Attitude toward War in the Poem Who's For the Game

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Jessie Pope was a journalist who wrote recruitment poems for the Daily Mail during the First World War. The poems she did write were positive propaganda poems for the war; her objective was to stimulate patriotism in the readers so that the men would join the forces. Pope wrote a persuasive poem where she compared war to a game. This is illustrated in the title 'Who's for the game?' It shows that her attitude toward war was that it was a great big event that everyone should take part in one way or another. The title is a short and punchy question inviting anyone to answer. This gives the wrong impression of the war, it is misleading. Pope was ridiculed for doing this, but if she did write the …show more content…

This is compared to a game like rugby, which was a popular sport amongst men at this time, whilst meaning who will rise to this duty with no fear, again appealing to masculine instinct and encouraging men to recruit. The final line: 'And who thinks he'd rather sit tight?' In other words she is asking who would rather be a coward and not do anything - the purpose of this line is to evoke quilt within the men so when it comes to making the decision the questions will linger in their minds. The 'quilt trip' was not uncommon at this time and was a useful strategy of putting them in awkward positions felling embarrassed if they do choose not to fight but stay at home taking the easy route. This corresponds with poetry such as 'For the Fallen' by Laurence Binyon.

The second verse talks of patriotism, 'who'll give his country a hand' in fighting against the enemy. This was known as xenophobic or jingoistic poetry - a very popular form of poetry at the time as posters such as the Kitchener appeal and other poets were alongside this. This is again is in reference to the cowardice of those who do not join in comparison with those willing to give their lives to their country. The cowards are the man with a 'seat in the stand' that are compared with the men 'who want a turn to himself in the show'. The reference to war

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