The Effect by Siegfried Sassoon

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“The Effect” by Siegfried Sassoon The Effect is about destroying the myth of death as either a desirable end for enemies, or a heroic resolution for patriotic soldiers. The poem follows the interior monologue of a soldier who has spoken to a war correspondent (reporter) told him someone he’d interviewed had said he’d never seen so many dead before. It is simply a poem about “The Effect” of seeing so many countless dead. Sassoon in his declaration says he has “seen and endured the sufferings of the troops” and this expands the idea of how profound and devastating witnessing millions of terrible deaths can be upon the human mind. “When Dick was killed last week he looked like that, flapping along... like a fish” –this is the typical use…show more content…
This gives it the feel of a nursery rhyme. This is ironic because nursery rhymes are full of peace and innocence whereas the poem is anything but. This can be associated with quite a few of Sassoon’s poems as he often uses the tight rhyme scheme. The effect of the regular rhyming is effective: through the nursery rhyme disguise Sassoon lulls his reader into a false sense of security. The rhythm of the poem makes us believe that you are safe since it resembles a nursery rhyme as nursery rhymes often have a very calming rhythm. Once it does this, the poem then hits you with the disheartening reality of the extreme deaths which have taken place and it’s much worse. “No, no; he wouldn’t count them anymore...” this just highlights the tremendous number of deaths and how the reality of it hits you in the face, just like it did with the soldiers. In “The Effect” a regular iambic pentameter is used: “the lilting words danced up and down his brain” with ten syllables and five stresses in each line. Iambic pentameter is traditionally assumed to have a similar rhythm to that of normal conversation, and the effect of this in a Sassoon poem can be devastating, as he tells us something harrowing: “they’ve choked; they can’t come back to life again” in a casual and chatty style that makes what he says all the more shocking. It is like death has become such an
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