But, says Sassoon in presenting his theme, war is a brutal ordeal for facing bullets and artillery bombardment--and the sight of bloody uniforms, torn limbs, and twitching bodies. At such times, what occupy their minds are not thoughts of heroic deeds but dreams of what really matters in life: "firelit homes, clean beds, and wives" (line 8) and other ordinary, mundane
The Ghosts of War During his time as a lieutenant in World War 1 (WWI), Wilfred Owen wrote many poems revolving around the reality of war, usually focusing on the perspective of the war that many did not discuss due to a sense of nationalism. Specifically, Owen elaborates upon the bravery of these young men, the conditions they endured, and the pieces of their souls that remain. In his poems “Dulce et Decorum Est,” “Mental Cases,” and “Smile, Smile, Smile,” Wilfred Owen characterizes World War I soldiers as courageous, yet damaged, heroes in order to reveal the gruesome reality of war. In “Dulce et Decorum Est” and “Smile, Smile, Smile,” Owen criticizes the propaganda that brought English youth to either death or trauma. In “Dulce,” Owen
The poem features a soldier, presumably Owen, speaking to fellow soldiers and the public regarding those atrocities. Correspondingly, drawing on the themes of innocent death and the barbaric practices of warfare, Owen expresses his remorse towards his fallen comrades and an antagonistic attitude towards the war effort through a solemn tone and specific stylistic devices. The poem is structured as free verse, contributing towards the disorganized and chaotic impression Owen experienced while witnessing these deaths firsthand, enabling the audience to understand the emotional circumstances of demise in the trenches as well. Throughout the poem, Owen routinely personifies the destructive weapons of war, characterizing them as the true instruments of death rather than the soldiers who stand behind them. Owen describes how, “Bullets chirped…Machine-guns chuckled…Gas hissed…” (Owen 3,4,15).
Through the poem the present life of an injured soldier is differentiated from his past hopes and accomplishments. Wilfred Owen starts the poem by creating a depressed mood as he talks about the soldier injuries.“He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark, And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,Legless, sewn short at elbow…..” William Owen uses the phrase “waiting for dark” which implies the idea
For instance, “Taking the whiskey flask from his pocket, he emptied it in a draught. He felt reckless under the influence of spirit” (O’Flaherty 208). This shows that war is full of pain and suffering which conveys the main idea. Secondly, “But ranged as infantry, and staring face to face / I shot at him as he at me / And killed him in his place” (Hardy). This shows the central idea of war tearing people apart when faced with an unknown adversary.
To them, it was unknown as to what to do or what to say. Within the poem, the situation was being constantly compared and differentiated to different things in order to portray how inconceivable the moment was to not only the soldiers, but the hostages kept within the concentration camps as well. In “The America I Love,” Elie Wiesel used similes and metaphors to portray how the American soldiers felt after
The poem “Facing It,” by Yusef Komunyakaa is a heart wrenching story of a man who was in the Vietnam War. He is recounting the lost and maimed of the war. The author himself served in the Vietnam War. This poem has many accurate depictions of the struggles felt by the veterans coming home from this highly controversial war. The personification seen in the story catches the attention of the reader in a way that almost makes the reader feel as though they themselves are in D.C. staring into the wall.
The imagination of the soldiers enduring the life of catastrophic war conveys to the readers. Owen dramatically communicates the readers and exemplifies one man experiencing physical and psychological difficulties. Throughout his poems, the various language devices influences the dehumanization of the soldiers and represents how they were treated as not human beings. Much like his poems, Owen communicate the powerful emotions creating a true reflection of the harsh reality where the soldiers endures the war. His poems are able to make the horrors of warfare come to life while the
Yet, the tone is somehow serious and formal. Furthermore, diction like “the noble six hundred,” “honor the charge brigade,” “hero”, and “boldly,” is used to glorify war, which is the main theme of poetry set one. Tennyson believes in what war stands for, he believes in the honor of death in battle. Poets at that time honored and glorified war due to the due to the Victorian era
This idea is further reinforced by the rhetorical question, “In what cold clockwork of the stars and nations Was he the hand pointing that second?” This metaphor displays his uncertainty as per his crucial part in that moment in time. The soldier pictures himself as the hand on a clock, subject to the inevitable force of a clockwork motor that cannot be slowed or quickend. He realises that he does not really know why he is running and feels “statuary in mid-stride”. However, towards the end of the poem, all moral justifications for the existence of war have become meaningless- “King, honour, human dignity, etcetera Dropped like luxuries in a yelling alarm”, which is extremely dismissive of all the motives people provide for joining the army, explicitly stating that those motives do not justify and do not withstand the war. Disorientation is also highlighted in the line “Stumbling across a field of clods towards a green hedge That dazzled with rifle fire” where the confusion between the natural world and man-made world is expressed.