Compare and Contrast Sherriff's and Faulk's Presentation of the Impact of War on Those Who Fought in World War One. How Far Would You Agree with the View That Sherriff's Choices of Setting and Narrow Time Scale Limit

How does Faulks' presentation of the first day of the Battle of the Somme further your understanding of World War One?

Faulks' presentation of the first day of the Battle of the Somme is portrayed brutally and horrifically to convey the fact that it was the worst battle in World War One with a total of approximately 58,000 casualties. As Faulks is a modern writer he is able to see the aftermath of war, the psychological effect on the men who survived, the total loss of life and the personal experiences of the men. Faulks' presentation is powerful and vivid, allowing us as readers to empathise with the men and understand the personal effects war had on them, whilst forming a personal attachment to each individual character during the battle chapter. The novel previous to this is of a much slower pace in comparison to what happens in the Battle of the Somme and just like the men, the readers are thrown in the deep end when they are introduced to a battle so suddenly and forcefully, thus heightening the shock experienced.

The first day of the Somme develops our understanding of World War One as it enables us to see how the men were ordered and they how lost their own free-will and with that, their right to make their own choices. We are told that Stephen "could see a long, wavering line of khaki, primitive dolls progressing in tense deliberate steps, going down in a silent flap of arms, replaced, falling." The way the men are described as 'dolls' shows how they are controlled and no longer in control of their own bodies. However, it could also be said that they are described as dolls to present them as one; they are a collective whom all share the same goal. The way Faulks uses this metaphor permits readers to see exactly how the men would have been ordered and the direct impact on their lives. The fact that the men are "replaced", enables us to understand the politics at the time and how, to the government, each man was replaceable; when a man had been killed...