Wilfred Owen poetry 2

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  • Created on: 27-08-14 12:53
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The loss of innocence
Owen, being a young soldier himself, was very aware of the naivete evinced by many
of the soldiers who enlisted. They were not prepared for what they would experience
and hardly knew how to grapple with the carnage and the irrationality of the conflict.
These boys were turned into men far earlier than they should have been. Several of
Owen's poems allude to this loss of innocence that is a concomitant of war. The
soldiers enlist for superficial reasons and dream only of glory, they fret about their
lack of appeal to women once they've returned home missing a limb, they marvel over
the sleekness of weapons and do not fathom how destructive such weapons are. Owen
captures this tragedy of war -old men send young men off to die.
Brotherhood and friendship
Several of Owen's poems depict the deep bonds of friendship and understanding that
develop between soldiers. Shorn of their familial connections, these young men have
only each other to rely on. This brotherly love is even more powerful than erotic love,
Owen suggests. Roses and red lips and soft voices are no match for the coarse sounds
of war, for those sounds are more authentic and constitute the environs in which the
soldiers develop their camaraderie. Friendship is one of the few things these soldiers
have to live for, and Owen ably conveys its signficance.
The horrors of war
Owen is very sympathetic with the soldiers however. he does not shy away from
depicting the horrors of war. He makes his reader confront the atrocities on the
battlefield and the indignities of life back home. He presents readers with soldiers
who have lost their limbs and been victims of poison gas, young men mourning their
dead comrades, ghastly battlefield dreamscapes, a cacophony of sounds terrifying in
their unceasing monotony, and Nature's wrath. He shows how the war affects
physically and psychologically the young men who fight in it. There is little to no

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Disillusionment with religion
Owen was certainly a Christian, but he expressed profound disillusionment with
organized religion in his letters and poems. He disliked the close connection between
church and state and how the church was complicit in stoking the fires of war. He saw
the rituals of the church as being cold comfort to the boys on the battlefield or the
people who loved them back at home. Churches and statues of saints lost their
potency amidst the incomprehensible atrocities of war.…read more

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Owen's view that the war is absurd and incomprehensible
is quite manifest.
Broken into two 7 line stanzas, Futility takes the form of an elegiac sonnet although it
is not structured as one as it is neither in a Petrachan nor Shakespearean form. This
may signify the breakdown of conventions especially as the poem concentrates on the
meaning of existence, and the futility of war and inevitability of death rather than
Owens usual description of the grotesque reality of the frontline of WWI.…read more

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Star", although this is an oxymoron, it highlights the inconstant nature of the sun as
it is usually active in the role it plays in rejuvenating the earth yet it is passive when
it comes to reviving the soldier. The narrator doesn't understand how the sun can
give life to seeds, but not a body that is still warm. . He asks "Was it for this the clay
grew tall?", Clay can be a symbolism for man which is referencing to Genesis 2.…read more

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Dulce Et Decorum Est"
Wilfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est takes the form of a narrative poem. The meaning
of the poem presents itself clearly through gradually increasing intensity and
violence with grisly diction, graphic imagery, and an ironic and often purposefully
contradictory tone. Translated, "Dulce Et Decorum Est" means: it is sweet and meet to
die for one's country.! , however, the optimistic tone is contrasted with the shocking
portrayal of the reality and horrors of death at war.…read more

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underwriting theme is when he rhymes "drowning - drowning". This last rhyme
using the anaphora is chosen solely for the purpose of drawing the reader's attention
to the word and further emphasizing the vividness of which Owen witnessed a friend
of his suffocate in front of him. The meter is regular for the most part and the jaunty
ABAB rhyme scheme which runs throughout echoes the military uniformity of march
and speech.…read more

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Pope preys on the young men's desire to be glorious
heroes without telling them the ramifications of enlisting. Owen chose the word
"boys!" perhaps also to reveal how inexperienced at life many of these soldiers are.
Though this poem is from the point of view of a fighting soldier it disputes the divine
nature of heroism that clings to war and tries to prove the point that war is the
antithesis of exaltation and praise.…read more

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"Disabled" is one of Owen's most disturbing and affecting poems. It was written while
he was convalescing at Craiglockhart Hospital in Edinburgh after sustaining injuries
on the battlefield. "Disabled", reflects the result of the decision of a youthful athlete
to become a soldier in the war, as well as the pains and struggles, both physically and
mentally, that he has to bear. The poem effectively contrasts the current life of the
solider to his past.…read more

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He continues on to reflect on the way his town used to be. "-- In the old times, before
he threw away his knees" (10). Here, Owen makes a compelling choice in diction by
selecting the words, "threw away." He does not describe his loss as honorable or as a
sacrifice to a just cause. Instead, he assigns the phrase a negative connotation and
establishes that the loss of his legs was a waste.…read more

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It is a reminder that he will have to have others do things for him from now on. His
days of autonomy, and, of course, of glory, are clearly over. The poem is about one
soldier, but what makes it so compelling and relevant is its universal quality.
In Disabled, Owen uses iambic pentameter, which flows as naturally as speech from
line to line as the narrator tries to reason `why' the boy got into this situation.…read more


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