Masculinity and shell shock in the poetry of Siegfried Sassoon: Soldier of trauma and poet of abjection

McCormack, Peter (2019) Masculinity and shell shock in the poetry of Siegfried Sassoon: Soldier of trauma and poet of abjection. Masters thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This dissertation assesses potential links between masculinity and shell shock, explored through a psychoanalytic perspective in the First World War poetry of Siegfried Sassoon. I suggest that Sassoon, through his poetry, critiques the idea of a heteronormative, hypermasculinity that was propagated throughout the period of WW1. The pressure to perform in the hypermasculine area of war resulted in emotional conflict for Sassoon subliminally explored through his writing, which allowed him to express a personal critical evaluation of masculinity in the war period. The personal perspective offered by Sassoon, leads to a wider critique, as Sassoon’s poetry offers a social perspective on the presentation of a desired masculinity that the period required. This study suggests that there are inextricable links between performing heteronormative hypermasculinity and shell shock.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
B. > Theses
Item ID: 26781
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2019 14:04
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 19:04
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/26781

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