Glory of Women

So, this was just another example of the men of war blaming the women at home, but I wanted to unpack it a little further. This poem by Siegfried Sassoon was so interesting to me due to all the binaries that Sassoon put in place to show the contrast between what women can and cannot support. He talks about how women support them when they are heroes, and at home- but only while on leave. They cannot support them if they retire because they are broken by the war. He talks about the contrast between what men are expected to do for the women, and what the women are doing for the men by writing, “That chivalry redeems the wars disgrace. / You make us shells” (Sassoon 4-5). These lines rang particularly interesting to me because it shows that women expected the men to take care of them and be chivalrous, while in return the women are turning them into shells. It talks about how the women glorify the fact that they have sons and husbands fighting, but then mourn them when they die. We have seen examples of this so many times now, but I really like the way that Sassoon painted the women at home as if they were daydreaming, in contrast to the horrific realizations that the men at war were facing .

1 thought on “Glory of Women

  1. These contrasts are very interesting. I think this war is particularly fascinating because the contrasts are so strong and pervasive; people on the home front suffering and bitter and then men coming back who are utterly devastated. Women and men both serving, both afflicted from the war. And, all the while, the poem points to huge, unspoken communication gaps between all of these groups of people. Everyone was expected, I think, to suffer in a kind of polite silence.

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