Without nurse. Three years after his experience, he

            Without a doubt, Literature was used
as a method of coping with the trials and tribulations for many authors who
served in the war. In the case of authors Eva Dobell and Paul Eluard, World War
I ignited the spark to create one of the best poetry pieces based off their war
experiences that are recognized globally. The events experienced led to the
innovation of many movements within the world of literature such as Surrealism
and the Modernism movement. Both poems, “Liberte” and “Pluck” approach the
subject of war in a very emotional and powerful way. The desperation for
liberty in a nation that was under an aristocratic and monarchy form of
government and an outsider’s take on damaged soldiers led to the creation of
these two powerful war poems. Poetry became the go-to literary writing style for
a vast amount of post-war content, both fiction and nonfiction.

            Moreover, as a nurse
and an army soldier during World War I, Eva Dobell and Paul Eluard both
expressed their different experiences post-war by writing poetry. In October of
1914, Paul Eluard decided to join the Army and had the opportunity of serving
in the trenches and as a nurse. Three years after his experience, he was
injured due to an exposure of toxic gas. He spent a great amount of time both
reading and writing poems during the recovery process (Eluard). Once his time
serving the Army came to an end, his highly enticed poetry volume was released.
His troubles and sufferings influenced his literature and throughout all his
tragic experiences and health problems, Paul Eluard continued to hope that he
would have a great future. From 1938-1942, Eluard released poems that lacked
the conventional techniques of poetry, yet were considered to have a strong
sense of reality and appealed very well to the public (Eluard). His war poem
“Liberte”, amongst other poems that were apart of the volume known as “Poésie
et vérité”, which translates to “Poetry and Truth in English”, were considered
as one of the most powerful poems on heroism of resistance fighters (Eluard). Meanwhile,
Eva Dobell also aided to the sick and wounded from the front line (Eluard).
Amongst her works Is another war poem titled “Night Duty”, which Eva Dobell
composed as an outsider’s point of view during war time; the poem depicts the
cries and laughs she experienced as she took care of people who were
emotionally and physically damaged as they returned from combat. A lot of
emotion is placed in the following lines from Night Duty when Dobell says,
“They lie here deep withdrawn, remote and strange; A dimly outlined shape, a
tumbled head” (Night Duty); she described how the soldier’s spirits have
changed post-war and according to her, they appear to be withdrawn from reality.

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            A young
seventeen-year-old boy questions his fate in life after his legs where both
smashed during the war In Eva Dobell’s poem “Pluck”. “To march, a man with men,
and fight while other boys are still at play” (Dobell); the following quote
from the poem represents a prime example of how many young men became soldiers
during World War I while others were continuing to live the stage of
adolescence. The theme of the poem is one of hopelessness, despair, and
brutality. The poem “Pluck” portrays a boy who is “Crippled for life at
seventeen” (Dobell); The opening line of “Pluck” contains very powerful words
that serve the purpose of describing the situation of the character, whom just
happened to return from the front and is completely scared of what the future
holds in store. “That none may see his heart sick fear” (Dobell) is an example
of symbolism by other words describing how fearful the soldier was. The use of
imagery was very common in the poem “Pluck, “A child, so wasted and so white” (Dobell);
a mental image may come to mind when picturing the seventeen-year-old boy’s
pale face and injured body. In contrast, a theme of despair and hopelessness
also applies for Paul Eluards poem, “Liberete”. The tittle, when translated
from French to English means Liberty; which is exactly what this poem focuses
on, the desperate need for liberty from the monarchy and autocracy forms of
government during the French revolution. The style of the poem is repetition,
the use of the word “on” can be found in the beginning of every stanza
excluding the last one. For example, “On my school notebooks on my desk and on
the trees on the sands of snow I write your name” (Eluard).  The author wants to make it known that he
wants liberty to be established for everything and everyone. Moreover, the
language used in “Liberte”, specifically towards the end of the poem when the
author says, “By the power of the word, I regain my life, I was born to know
you, and to name you, LIBERTY” (Eluard). Emphasizing on the capitalization of
the word liberty, this concluding stanza indirectly suggests how powerful the
use of language is. For instance, “Pluck” focused more on the physical and
emotional toll that took over the young soldier post-war, meanwhile “Liberte”
emphasized the desperate need for freedom from a constrained governmental
system during the French revolution.


            For many poets, the
first world war signified a time of terror and despair. The brutal events that
occurred throughout this time paved the way for authors to express their
feelings regarding war; fictional or non-fictional. Although, as time
progressed the feelings of despair due to war turned into the opportunity to
grow personal character for many literature writer’s. Amongst the movements
that resulted due to the World War I, Surrealism came about as one of them.
Overall this movement represents the irrational nature of humanity (Shmoop). As
a response to the cynicism that plagued over Europe, the artists who were
passionate about their work decided to cultivate this movement as a response to
all the changes that were taking place in Europe. Many artists, for instance,
approached these circumstances by acts of rebellion. For example, ‘bourgeois
values’ were interpreted as causing the conflicts in the world during World War
I (Shmoop). Moreover, the modernist literary movement also took place after
World War I. According to professor Jarica Watts from Brigham Young University,
she stated that the Modernism movement in literature consisted of “writers
abandoning tradition, experimenting with the unknown, changing the rules,
daring to be different, innovating and, above all, exposing the sham of Western
civilization, “a civilization whose entire system of values was now perceived
to be one without justification” (Watts). It can be concluded that as artistic
innovators, lashing out and starting different movements in literature was their
own way of coping with the traumatizing changes that were occurring in not just
their own communities, but also around the world. In American culture, veterans
began to write about the loses and victory post-war such as Wilfred Owen poem
“Anthem for Doomed Youth”, and Siegfried Sassoon’s “Suicide In the Trenches”. Without
a doubt, poetry was one of the most common literary works to be associated with

The impact of war leads to long-term effects, both mentally and
physically on soldiers and its 3rd parties involved. For example,
the event of disease’s spreading, post-traumatic stress disorders, shell shock,
along with the emotional toll that is caused by the loss of a loved one and the
long-distance relationships amongst the families of those who have served for
their countries. The tragedy of war also majorly influenced the production of a
vast amount of the greatest literary works of all time; ranging from poems,
sonnets, novels, dramas, and short stories particularly during the early and mid-1900’s.
Amongst these works is “Liberte”, a poem written in 1943 by author Paul Eluard.
As if the tittle itself does not already reveal the poem’s central idea, “Liberte”
profoundly represents the desperate need for liberty during the French
revolution. Meanwhile, author Eva Dobell also pours her feelings of despair and
hopelessness which resulted from her personal accounts of war in the poem “Pluck”.
The poetic techniques used in the literary works consist of symbolism, imagery,
and in the poem “Liberte”, surrealism. In fact, authors Paul Eluard and Eva
Dobell played a different role in World War I. In their works, the audience can
grasp a wisp of how each author was influenced by wartime conditions. It can be
inferred that by taking in the experiences of tragedy, these two authors were compelled
to turning their personal experiences into a literary work of art. War was able
to influence literature and open many doors for authors of all kinds of
literature writing, while converting war members into melancholic poets; to
understand how the authors during this time were emotionally influenced by war,
it is important to comprehend each of their personal backgrounds meanwhile comparing
the literary devices used in each of their works.


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