“I long now to sleep”: Kitsch Morality and the Indifference of Victory
- Lee, S.
- Issue Date
- English Language and Literature Association of Korea
- Morality; Motherhood; Patriotism; Religion; War
- Journal of English Language and Literature, v.67, no.4, pp.609 - 625
- Journal Title
- Journal of English Language and Literature
- Start Page
- End Page
- "This paper takes Clausewitz's claim that war is political and suffers from its compulsive illness. War of honour, if ever, plays out in a small part and soon gets tarnished as bloodbaths when the state takes away the lives of soldiers, and a political vision creeps in as Walzer echoes Clausewitz. With the hypocrite features of war, this essay examines the work of several war poets to precipitate the view that war is political in that it departs from protection and liberation to adapt the rules of its course in order to achieve its agenda regardless of the suffering it inflicts upon the individuals that war is imposed upon. Such victims are covered over and ignored by the false glory and worthiness of death that marks the discourse surrounding the war. The cunning employed to advocate such an endeavour takes several forms, whether the religious justification of war and the forgiveness of its destruction in Sassoon's They, the clamorous celebration of an apparent victory in Harrison's New Year 1916 and Chesnokov's O Glorious Leader, or simply forgetting in Owen's Anthem for Doomed Youth. The mothers left behind by these conflicts are given either blatant lies to assuage their suffering as in Sassoon's The Hero or must endure their grief alone as in Pearse's The Mother, unable to find comfort in whatever glorious cause took away their children. In reading these works, this paper elucidates the kitsch morality of super-imposing noble pretexts over callous evils. ? 2021 ELLAK
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