Angels, Monsters, and Zombies: Defining Us and Them in First World War Poetry and Art

Smith, Angela (2021) Angels, Monsters, and Zombies: Defining Us and Them in First World War Poetry and Art. The Revenant, 7. pp. 44-68. ISSN 2397-8791

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Abstract

This article will explore how images were used to define ‘us’ and ‘them’ by other sides during the First World War. I begin with a discussion of how the figure of the angel is found in both side’s propaganda, both embodying and protecting the fighting forces. The way the ‘other’ comes to be defined in hyper-real terms as being monstrous will be explored using Cohen’s (2002) discussion of ‘folk devils’ whose deviance from righteousness must be repelled. In addition, the ‘other’ that is found in the poetry of this time often draws upon images that emphasise the subhuman acts of warfare through tropes that we would later refer to as ‘zombie’. In this way, I contend the First World War draws on traditional images of angels and monsters, but for the first time employs the image of the zombie to articulate the horror of the first mechanised mass conflict.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Culture > English Language and Literature
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Media and Communications
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Angela Smith
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2022 16:49
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2022 16:50
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/14270
ORCID for Angela Smith: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2013-8395

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