Home > Irish Airman > Questions on the War Poems

Questions on the War Poems

Some Textual Analysis questions to help further your understanding of the themes of the other poems looked at in class. These are pretty tricky. Make sure you have read up on the necessary terminology. Post any questions you have for some help.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Owen’s poem condemns both the brutality of war and the propaganda peddled by speakers and politicians of the age.

1. Comment on the effectiveness of Owen’s use of imagery in the opening stanza of the poem to convey the brutal reality of war. (4)

2. Comment on how effective Owen’s use of structure is in the second stanza in conveying the pace at which events happen in the trenches. (4)

3. How effective do you find Owen’s concluding lines as a comment upon propaganda? (2)

The Soldier

Brooke’s poem was utilised by the British government to portray the role of the forces in a positive light.

1. Comment on the effectiveness on Brooke’s use of personification in the first stanza. (2)

2. Comment on the effectiveness of Brooke’s use of repetition throughout the poem. (2)

The Waste Land

The seminal work of the modernist era, Eliot’s poem compares modern society to a waste land; bleak and despairing.

1. Why does Eliot claim that ‘April is the cruelest month’? (2)

2. Identify the two techinques evident in the following lines:

‘Winter kept us warm, covering us in forgetful snow’ (2)

3. How effective do you find this image as a modernist comment on society? (2)

Questions on All Poems

1. Owen portrays war in a negative/realistic manner, whereas Brooke conveys it an a positive light. In what respect do you consider Yeats’ ‘Irish Airman’ to be a war poem? What comment does it make?  (2)

2. Eliot’s poetry focuses on the problem of modern society. What comment does Yeats make on society? Does his speaker feel connected to his country? (2)

3. One of the key themes of modernism is solitude and isolation from society. Comment on how Yeats’ presents these ideas through his ‘Irish Airman’. Refer specifically to Yeats’ use of imagery, contrast and structure in the presentation of this. (6)

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