Class 1, August 21st: “The Great War and its influence in British Literature”


Today we will start a journey along some of the most remarkable episodes of the English Literature of the XX century. I would like to invite each one of you to take as much as possible from it and enjoy the lucid art of the writers who will accompany us on this trip. Everyone is welcome to get onboard.

Julio Uribe


Activities for this class:

I.- Introduction to Modernism: Photocopy provided +  ppt:

II.- Read the extract “The First World War” as provided in the photocopies.

III.- Watch the following video for more context about “The Great War”

III.- Read the following poem by Edward Thomas and solve the exercises below:


As the Team’s Head Brass – Edward Thomas

As the team’s head-brass flashed out on the turn
The lovers disappeared into the wood.
I sat among the boughs of the fallen elm
That strewed the angle of the fallow, and
Watched the plough narrowing a yellow square
Of charlock. Every time the horses turned
Instead of treading me down, the ploughman leaned
Upon the handles to say or ask a word,
About the weather, next about the war.
Scraping the share he faced towards the wood,
And screwed along the furrow till the brass flashed
Once more.
The blizzard felled the elm whose crest
I sat in, by a woodpecker’s round hole,
The ploughman said. ‘When will they take it away? ‘
‘When the war’s over.’ So the talk began –
One minute and an interval of ten,
A minute more and the same interval.
‘Have you been out? ‘ ‘No.’ ‘And don’t want to, perhaps? ‘
‘If I could only come back again, I should.
I could spare an arm, I shouldn’t want to lose
A leg. If I should lose my head, why, so,
I should want nothing more…Have many gone
From here? ‘ ‘Yes.’ ‘Many lost? ‘ ‘Yes, a good few.
Only two teams work on the farm this year.
One of my mates is dead. The second day
In France they killed him. It was back in March,
The very night of the blizzard, too. Now if
He had stayed here we should have moved the tree.’
‘And I should not have sat here. Everything
Would have been different. For it would have been
Another world.’ ‘Ay, and a better, though
If we could see all all might seem good.’ Then
The lovers came out of the wood again:
The horses started and for the last time
I watched the clods crumble and topple over
After the ploughshare and the stumbling team.



1.- What references to the Great War can you find? Underline those lines.

2.- What is the lyrical writer’s view towards the war? Is it positive or negative? What is his experience?

3.- What is the mood of the poem? Cite.



1.- Find in a war poem written in the 1914-1918 period in England. Answer the following questions and upload them on your blog for next class.

1.- Who is the author?

2.- When was it written?

3.- What reference to the great war does it make?

4.- What is the mood of the poem and what is the lyrical writer’s view towards the war?


2.- Start reading the book “To the lightouse” by Virginia Woolf available here: Virginia Woolf – To the Lighthouse

3.- Print the following text and bring it next class: The waste land





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