Revision:English lit world war 1 notes - themes

• “not a sound or soul; just got an enormous, all churned up like a sea that's got muddier and muddier till it's so stiff that it can't move" - Stanhope from Journey's End, R.C Sherriff

• "shell chopped trees that fang the plain" - The Zonnebeke Road, Edmund Blunden

• "meadows scarred and cleft mined with deep holes and reft of grass. Gardens where not a flower is left. Fouled streams once clear as glass" - Nature in War, Gertrude Ford

• "in this fruitless land, thorny with wire and foul with rotting clothes and sacks" - Battlefield, Richard Aldington

• "there is not a plant or flower for miles" - All Quiet on The Western Front, Remarque

• "You could search in vain for one wretched blade of grass" - Storm Of Steel, Ernst Junger

Nature lives on:

• "all around us the fields are in flower. The grasses are waving, cabbage whites are fluttering about, swaying in the warm breeze of late summer” – All Quiet on the western front, Remarque

• “Ye fearless birds that live and fly where men can venture not and live, that even build your nests where oft the searching shrapnel shrilled” – Birds in the trenches, Willoughby Weaving

• “The only sound is that of a bird, singing sweetly” – Blackadder Goes Forth, Ben Elton/Richard Curtis

• “even the bumblebees drown it out when they buzz past” – All quiet on the western front, Remarque (about the sounds at the front)

• “soft stems of summer grass shall wave again” – War, Lesley Coulson

The Landscape at War:

• “all around there was nothing else to be seen but shell-holes, barbed wire, unexploded shells and dead horses” – No Thankful Village, Chris Powell (this book is made up of diary entries/letters from Soldiers at the time)

• “arms, legs and heads stuck out stark above the craters” – Storm Of Steel, Ernst Junger

• “the sunken road now appeared as nothing but a series of enormous shell-holes filled with pieces of uniform, weapons and dead-bodies” – Storm Of Steel

The Somme:

• “the air overhead was solid metal” “A summer storm coming in from Pozieres, drenching the German lines then drifting west and turning the earth to mud beneath the press of British feet” – Birdsong, Sebastien Faulkes

• “there was for once no sound of birds” – Birdsong