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Does It Matter? by Siegfried Sassoon

This study guide will help you analyse the poem “Does It Matter?” by Siegfried Sassoon. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, composition, characters and speaker, language and style, imagery and metaphors, themes and message.

Presentation of the poem

Title: “Does It Matter?”
Author: Siegfried Sassoon
Published in: Counter-Attack and Other Poems
Date of Publication: 1918
Genre: Poetry

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) was an English poet, but also a soldier who fought in World War I. Most of his poems depict the tragedies and horrors of war and the trenches, but also criticise fake patriots or those who refuse to understand what war is really like.

Excerpt

Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Ignorance

This theme is illustrated by the collective character of the people at home, who are oblivious of the traumas that the soldiers suffered in the war. When people see a returned soldier who is physically wounded, people just act nicely around him and do not make any effort to understand the experiences he has gone through. When they see a soldier who drowns his sorrows in alcohol, people tend to ignore him, believing that this is the normal thing to do. However, because of their ignorance, the people at home do more harm than good, as soldiers need someone to share their experiences with and not be alone anymore.

The style and mode of expression

The poem is written in an ordinary style but it still maintains some solemnity because of the themes it addresses – the consequences of warfare. The mode of expression is that of a rhetorical monologue.

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Does It Matter? by Siegfried Sassoon

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