Examples Of Disillusionment In World War 1

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World War 1 Essay Two major themes in World War 1 were hope and disillusionment. They seem like oxymoron and yet they existed together. This essay will discuss how these two themes came about. To start, disillusionment was so abundant because of a great stalemate. The stalemate was created because German soldiers came into France via Belgium and vainly expected French soldiers in the valued Alsace Lorraine. This vain expectation led to a little fear so, to be ready the Germans dug defensible trenches. Then the French heard where the German armies were concentrated and got 'ferried' by taxi cabs to the battle of the Marne. The French also had to dig trenches to avoid being easy open targets for the Germans thus creating a massive stalemate.…show more content…
One account mentioned a dead human arm, which stuck out of the trench wall, and all the soldiers shook the hand as they walked by. Another disillusionment factor was that the soldiers had to share their living space with rats and lice. Rats were said to get as big as cats and lice were ludicrously out of hand. Most likely the worst part of the trenches was the occasional assault of various toxic gases. These gases tortured its victims for anywhere from 48 hours to a full 5 weeks before killing them. The crazed victims that lived through these horrible infections would most likely end up in an insane asylum. To further disillusion the troops, the leadership of common soldiers was given to an officer about two miles away from the front line, resulting in extremely poor decisions; Even the commanding officers that were at the front line possessed very poor leadership, especially on the French side. For a good first hand example of the despair, we turn to the work of Wilfred Owen. In Owens’s poem Dulce Et Decorum Est the soldiers are pictured as "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, knock-kneed, coughing like hags...". The poem also illustrates a man who has breathed in gas: "He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning". These images
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