analysis the send off

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War is the main theme in "The sendoff" . Wilfred Owens's poem it focuses on
the response of the people at home to it's events. The title itself is ironic for a
sendoff is usually a happy occasion of farewell and the sendoff to war is
more often than not a celebrated event. But Owens's poem deals with harsh
realism and argues that there is nothing to celebrate for the facts are these
men will either be killed or return home as broken men. In the poem the troops
are being sent off most likely to their death and yet the people fail to
understand the full implication of the event, which adds bitterness to Owens's
It talks about the soldiers wearing a white flower on their breasts the women
gave it to them out of luck or because they was the women who gave it to
At the beginning of the poem we are presented with the image of a typical
rural scene, with soldiers merrily singing through the streets to their farewell in
order to keep their spirits high . The excitement in the words of 'they sang
their way' is rewarded by the notion of the fatefulness of the occasion. Down
the 'close darkening lanes', creates a image and sense of claustrophobia that
the lanes are fatefully closing in on them, implying that it is a point of no
return. Their sendoff march is clouded in the oncoming darkness as they bid
farewell, but it is this darkness, which is a metaphor of the dark destiny that
The Sendoff" deals with the ideas of war itself, the effects of war on those
who experience it first hand and ordinary peoples naive understandings of war.
These ideas are conveyed through different means, such as language devices,
sound devices, sentence structure and the overall structure. By using these
techniques Owen has beautifully expresses his criticism of the slaughter of
young men in the First World War.
'Then, unmoved, signals nodded, and a lamp Winked to the guard.' The verbs
come into play for the lifeless signals, essentially unmoved in terms of emotion
physically nods. "A lamp winked to the guard', through the use of
personification it suggests the lamps knowing wink implies that it is all too
familiar with such a situation, it knows the destiny of these men, where as they
themselves don't.
Stanza six examines how the troops views might change after being exposed
to war 'Nor there if they yet mock women mean Who gave them flowers.' the
motives of the women who urged them to fight and decorated them, with
flowers, in advance, might be perceived differently like maybe flowers at a
awaits the soldiers. In the oxymoron, 'grimly gay,' the men's expressions as
seen in the train windows emphasises the uncertainty of their departure and
the beginning of recognition of the implications of their destiny.

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The last stanza, even though it is composed of two lines bares the force of the
emotion in the poem. For it shows that even though war might be over in the
physical.…read more


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