English Literature: Exposure

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  • Exposure
    • ...But nothing happens
      • repetition of 'but nothing happens' throughout the poem gives the reader a sense of boredom caused by waiting
      • it also hints at the pointlessness of war
    • Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us
      • personification
        • the weather is personified to make it sound menacing and deadly
        • also characterises the weather as the real enemy of the soldiers
      • sibilance
        • highlights the intensity of the pain and the brutality of the weather
    • Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army / Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of grey.
      • personification
        • dawn, usually associated with ideas of light and hope is here hostile and brings even more suffering
      • colour imagery
        • 'grey' conveys the ideas of despair and boredom
      • military vocabulary
        • 'ranks is a military term and is repeated, reminding the reader that the weather is the soldiers' enemy
    • Less deadly than the air that shudders black with snow
      • nature is presented as more damaging and deadly than the bullets
      • the contrasting images of of 'black' and 'snow' are unsettling
        • they highlight the horror of being exposed to the elements
        • they also highlight how close to death the soldiers are
    • Slowly, our ghosts drag home
      • metaphor
      • suggests that war has sucked all of the life out of the soldiers
      • reminds the readers the soldiers are on the brink of death
    • All their eyes are ice
      • metaphor
      • describes the extreme effects of the weather that have overcome the soldiers
      • implies that the soldiers have lost their humanity and could suggest they are close to breaking point
    • effects/reality of conflict
      • War Photographer
      • Poppies
      • Kamikaze
      • Bayonet Charge
      • Remains
    • power of nature vs power of man
      • Storm on the Island
      • The Prelude
      • Tissue
    • Wilfred Owen (1918)


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