Never in the course of human events a war had been so bloody as WWI. About the theme of the war, the opinions of the different intellectuals were the most unlike. On one hand this was considered like an occasion for the man to show his courage and his patriotism, how we can read in the poems by Rupert Brooke; on the other hand the effects of the Great War have upset deeply people’s life, both for the winners, and for the defeated.
Wilfred Owen in Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori, with realistic words, cruel in their truth, describes a moment of withdrawal, not strong, not glorious, not honourable. The writer memory is vivid like the green killer gas. It is a bitter consideration about the old lie inculcated in the minds and in the enthusiasm of children, who haven’t known death yet.
In Survivors, Sassoon represents the perverse consequences suffered on the fields of battle: insanity, disablements, inability to speech. All is described with calmness and order in the words of a doctor, the tone is deliberately ironical. But the human madness – if it is defined calmly and orderly – maybe is crueller and full of truth.