Fall In and Whos for the Game? are both poems with a purpose to try and encourage and persuade the men of the time to go to war. Some of the techniques used are the same and others are different, in this essay I am going to explain the similarities and differences of the two poems.
Firstly, both poems include rhetorical questions. A quote from Whos for the Game? says, Who wants a turn to himself in the show? And who wants a seat in the stand? and a quote from Fall In says, But where will you look when they give you the glance that tells you they know you flunked? The main purpose of these questions is to get the reader to answer them mentally.
Rhetorical questions are a type of propaganda, they are used in both of these poems as a way of informing the reader that if he doesnt go to war he is a coward and he wont be able to look his children in the eye when he tells them that he never went. Another line from Fall In says Cut what will you lack when your mate goes by with a girl who cuts you dead? This is emotional blackmail. Its saying that all the girls will be interested in the men that fought in the war and not those who were too afraid. So this affects the reader emotionally.
Also, both poems use personal pronouns. For example, in Whos for the Game? it says, Your country is up to her neck in a fight, And shes looking and calling for you and in Fall In it says, What will you lack, sonny, what will you lack, When for you the girls line up the street and throughout the poem it refers to its captive audience as sonny. These personal pronouns are used for two reasons- the first is to make the men of the country believe they are protecting a fragile, defenceless woman who needs their strength and loyalty. Britain is referred to as she. The second reason they are used is because the poem isnt directed at anyone in particular, it is aimed at the mess majority of men, and therefore, they cannot be referred to as an individual.
Another technique that both poets use is black and white fallacy. An example of this is, Than lie low and be out of the fun? (Whos for the Game?) And In the war that kept men free? (Fall In). Both poets use this technique to promote and advertise the glorifications of war. This is evident throughout both poems. They both share similar contexts that only take into consideration one side of the argument- to fight is better than not to. Both poems are specifically aimed at the individual on a personal and private level. The purposes of both poems share some common ground as both encourage their readers to look favourably on joining the war.
The way both poems are written differ in a range of ways, from informal to colloquial, course and offensive. These definitions can themselves be seen to represent different attitudes to the war.
Jessie Pope uses a more friendly and informal way of expressing her views. Whos for the Game, the biggest thats played Come along lads- But youll come on all right- for theres only one course to pursue. This is written in a more conversational manner.
On the other hand, Harold Begbie, uses a completely different approach, more of a condescending tone, What will you lack, sonny, what will you lack How will you fare, sonny, how will you fare. In the far-off winter night, when you sit by the fire in an old mans chair, And your neighbors talk of the fight? Even Harold Begbies choice of using the personal pronoun sonny is condescending.
Even though the framework for both poems focus towards the same conclusion and carry the same message- its best to fight- Harold Begbie is more direct in his approach and concentrates on the consequences that may happen or the regrets you may have if you dont fight.
However, Jessie Pope has a much more friendlier and light-hearted approach. She writes as if she were a friend encouraging another friend to join in a fun game that at the same time will benefit your country.
Another difference between the two poems is that Jessie Pope refers to war as a game- Whos for the Game, the biggest thats played, The red crashing game of a fight?- This is a metaphor. Shes saying that fighting in the war is like taking part in a big game. This gives the poem a friendlier and jollier tone, which is a good way to persuade men to go to war.
Harold Begbie, however, focuses more on using emotional blackmail, talking more about future regrets that the men may have.
The Structure of the poems also has a lot of similarities. Firstly, both use trochaic rhythm. This is when they emphasize the first word of the line and then the next one is subdued. So it follows the pattern on stressed followed by unstressed. For example, in Fall In it says, Where will you look, sonny, where will you look. In Whos for the Game? in the line, Wholl grip and tackle the job unafraid? the emphasis is on Wholl and job.
As well as this, both poems follow the ABAB rhyme scheme. This is where the first and third line rhyme, the second and fourth rhyme, the fifth and seventh rhyme and so do the sixth and eighth and that continues throughout the poem. The first line is labeled A, the second line is labeled B, the third line is labeled A because it rhymes with the first line and the fourth line is also labeled B because it rhymes with the second line and it continues through the alphabet until the end of the poem. An example of this rhyme scheme, from Fall In,
What will you lack, sonny, what will you lack a
When for you the girls line up the street, b
Shouting their love to the lads to come back a
From the foe they rushed to beat? b
The poets have also used a few different techniques in the structure of their poems. For example, Harold Begbie also uses a different rhythm in his poem. In Fall In the line And right is smashed by wrong is an example of Iambic rhythm. This follows the pattern of unstressed followed by stressed. Here the emphasis is on the words, right, smashed and wrong.
The use of such techniques helps give the poem a beat similar to music. This makes the poem more entertaining to read out and gives the words more meaning.
Another technique that both poets use is repetition. In Fall In the repetition is on the first line of every verse, Why do they call, sonny, why do they call. In Whos for the Game? its the constant repetition of the word who. Wholl toe the line for the signal Go? Wholl give his country a hand? Repetition is used to help the reader retain the key points and to get the message of the poem across.
Another obvious difference between the two poems is that Fall In has eight lines per verse and Whos for the Game? only has four. Harold Begbie uses rhetorical techniques to create a more dramatic effect. He covers a larger framework enabling the reader to jump forward in time to ponder the consequences of not joining the army.
Jessie Pope reverts to a lighter hearted, fast moving framework which is shorter but still direct.
The poems convey certain feelings and ideas. Both indicate that if you dont go to war you will regret it in the future and will also have to explain to future family and friends why you maybe considered a coward. The poems also extol the virtues of fighting, arguing that it is good to be part of the group of men who are prepared to fight and that fighting is almost an adventure, Who knows it wont be a picnic- not much- Yet eagerly shoulders a gun? Who would much rather come back with a crutch Than lie low and be out of the fun? (Whos for the Game?) In the alternative if you fail to fight you will be embarrassed, for example, from Fall In, And your neighbors talk of the fight? Will you slink away, as it were from a blow, Your old head shamed and bent?
Both poems are very good at playing on peoples desires to be heroic and not to let others- or your country- down.