When I compare my agony of last year with the present, I am glad to find a wider view of things. I am slowly getting outside it all. Getting nearer the secret places of the heart also, and recognising its piteous limitations. I recognise the futility of war more than ever, and, dimly, I see the human weakness that makes it possible. For I spend all my days with people who, with a very few exceptions, are too indolent-minded to think for themselves. Sometimes I feel as if this slow and steady growth of comprehension will be too much to bear. But, if I am not mad, I shall one day be great. And if I am killed this year, I shall be free. Selfishness longs for escape, and dreads the burden that is so infinitely harder to carry than three years, two years, one year ago. The simplicity that I see in some of the men is the one candle in my darkness. The one flower in all this arid sunshine. Half-baked aspirations and reasonings are no good. I will not go mad.
— Siegfried Sassoon, diary entry dated April 23, 1918