Essay on 'For King and Country'

1990 Words 8 Pages
This essay will look at how adequately the motive ‘For King and Country’ drove men to enlist and fight in the Great War. Dedication to the monarch and jingoism was a huge motive in this period of time. Often this was more of a reason to fight than more than any other. People expressed a sense of nationalism that perhaps isn’t seen as much in Britain today. Along with the drive to fight in honour of the sovereign and Britain there are numerous other factors that encouraged men to join the army such as propaganda, unemployment, conscription and peer pressure. Some incentives could have affected the men’s decisions more than others. Certain individuals were not supporters of the Royals and therefore refuted the very idea of encountering near …show more content…
It reiterated the sentiment ‘For King and Country’ in highly publicised posters around the country. One poster bore the words ‘Come into the ranks and fight for your King and Country – Don’t stay in the crowd and stare’. Sure enough this form of propaganda encouraged young men to sign up but it is hard to distinguish whether they were inclined to join due to feeling an obligation and sense of duty to the King or the fact the poster was able to instil guilt; making them to appear to be disloyal to their King and country whilst also stripping them of their sense of manhood in front of their fellow peers, especially the women. One of the most famous images depicts a lady of the house and her maid watching soldiers pass by the window joined by the caption “Women of Britain Say Go”. This was a huge encouragement for men to participate in fighting for their country. The men wanted to impress the women and felt that they were supposed to portray themselves as being brave and fearless. ‘Gendered propaganda was used to encourage men to enlist, evoking the associations made between participation in warfare and physically and orally virtuous masculinity’. Another famous recruiting poster with Kitchener pointing was joined by the caption “Britons want you Join your country’s Army”.

‘In history, fiction, children’s literature, on the lecture circuit and in newspapers, the soldier was celebrated as the epitome of both the imperial ideal and appropriate masculinity. The continuing

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