According to the author Margaret B. McDowell, Wilfred Edward Salter Owen was born on the 18th of March, 1893. He was the oldest of four other siblings, and both his mother and father had talent in the way of art and music. Although they had little in the way of money, his parents tried to make life enjoyable for Owen and his brothers and sisters. As he became older, he attended the Birkenhead Institute, a technical school that he attended for over a decade. After graduating, Owen began a pursuit of a more religious lifestyle, in which he served under Reverend Herbert Wigan and had little to no salary. With a small allowance and an open mind, he began to see the world in a different light, opening his eyes to the truth and gaining a deeper meaning from his studies. Although he had little religion himself, Owen did appreciate the passion of those who were connected to a God. In return for his apprenticeship, Owen would take care of the ill at Dunsden, where he would learn about life and the social issues at the time. During this period he also began to write and learn of his aptitude for creating
Both Ted Hughes and Wilfred Owen present war in their poems “Bayonet Charge” and “Exposure”, respectively, as terrifying experiences, repeatedly mentioning the honest pointlessness of the entire ordeal to enhance the futility of the soldiers' deaths. Hughes’ “Bayonet Charge” focuses on one person's emotional struggle with their actions, displaying the disorientating and dehumanising qualities of war. Owen’s “Exposure”, on the other hand, depicts the impacts of war on the protagonists' nation, displaying the monotonous and unending futility of the situation by depicting the fate of soldiers who perished from hypothermia, exposed to the horrific conditions of open trench warfare before dawn.
Owen uses shocking diction to convey the horror of war. He uses diction such as “trudge”,”writing”,”guttering”,”choking”, and “drowning” to express the horrific struggle of fighting death when the soldiers are choking on mustard gas. He uses these words to express that there is nothing beautiful about dying for your country.
Words like, “choking, drowning, obscene as cancer, forth-corrupted lungs, and incurable sores”, are all dark meaning words that show the reader what terrible events happened during the time of the war. “In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.” As you can see the soldiers went through horrific events that were deadly or life altering at the least. This shows the audience what people went through and validates that war is not at all what citizens believed it to be. The problems such as mustard gas were a major event that occurred and was a terrible way for young men to die. The harsh words that Owen uses shows the audience how bad the events the soldiers went through were and the realities of these
When Owen 's poem and Vonnegut 's insights it shows that war brings anguish to those who fight it. In Billy 's event on the train, the other passengers only allowed him to sleep standing up because he would, "yell... kick... and whimper," from his anguish of war. Combined with Owen 's poem that is full of pain and struggle, there is no doubt about the clear theme, war is misery.
“It is well that war is so terrible-- otherwise we would grow too fond of it,” were the words once said by the Confederate General, Robert E. Lee. Indeed, even opposing nations can agree that war is full of destruction and devastation. Despite this, there are those who believe that war is glorious. Too often, movies and literature depict war as a virtuous endeavor. Young men are often told during war that they should become a soldier, for honor and glory. As a result, many young men are pressured into joining the military, or even join willingly, due to this over glorification. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen discuss this very topic. Quite similar works, both feature ex-soldiers as their authors.
The poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen and the novel The Wars by Timothy Findley share several similarities when it comes to the theme being portrayed. Both literary texts illustrate that although one may suggest war is an honourable act of patriotism for one’s country, the detrimental effects of reality result in one’s loss of innocence.
Owen was a poet who had been to, and had experienced its horrors first hand, and wanted the world to have a realistic view also. The use of words like “gargling”, “trudged”, and “vile” (Owen 4, 22, 24) describes many of the things that go along with the war. Choosing to use diction like this came from the desire of wanting the war not to be romanticized any longer. There is nothing good about being vile, or about gargling anything. He wanted his readers to get the picture that the war was gross and nasty and just bad all around, and with this word diction eh got the message
Good Morning/Afternoon Mr Bain and fellow classmates, today I will be speaking about a man who wrote some of the most powerful British poetry during World War 1, Wilfred Owen. Significantly only five of Owens poems were published in his lifespan, from August 1917 to September 1918. In November 1918 he was killed in action at the age of twenty-five, one week before the Armistice. Through his poetry, he depicted the reality and horrors of the First World War. This era was the First World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars.
In “The Song of the Mud,” Borden describes the major role mud plays in war and reveals the huge impact it has as it covers the soldier, corpses, clogs the machinery, and restricts the soldiers from their value.“of vile, incurable sores and innocent tongues,” "a devil's sick of sin,” the blood coming from “bitter as the cud,” and “obscene as cancer” are all examples of imagery that help readers perceive the agony of war and fully express the repugnancy to war. Moreover, Mary specifically uses evocative words such as “invincible,” “inexhaustible,” “intrusive” and “impertinent” to illustrate the dreadful state of the fighters due to the mud and to generate a powerful tone. Similarly, Owen used words such as “guttering” and “froth-corrupted” to create that same tone as he described the gas attack he experienced and the resentment he has of war in this last stanza. On top of that, both poems contain irony to signify the opposite of what is said, set an ironic tone and to bring forth the authors’ aversion to war indirectly. For example,“The Song of the Mud” contains the line “covers the hills like satin” which is pleasing and makes you feel at ease which contradicts the fact that war is destructive and horrifying. Also, the word “song” in the title gives readers a feeling of enjoyment when in fact, the poem emits gloom. Owen’s main purpose of writing his poem was to expose “the old lie” which is “Dulce Et Decorum est.” This lie says that it is sweet and honorable to die for one’s country; the truth is that it is a waste of human life. Owen had first-hand experience of the tragedies of World War I and wanted to destroy the misinterpretation of it by portraying the reality of war. Yet this reality was long kept from the knowledge of the civilians at home, who continued to write about the noble pursuit of
In the poems “Disabled” by Wilfred Owen and “The Bright Lights of Sarajevo” by Tony Harrison, both poems present the truths of war. However, both differ in terms of setting and contrast that help depicts the similarities between their theme. Disabled takes place within World War I as Owen vividly describes the subject’s amputation, but the poem is centered around the subject’s adjustment to civilian life after war. In The Bright Lights of Sarajevo although Harrison discusses the consequences of partaking in war in the town, he illustrates the way in which life goes on regardless the horrific impact. Through use of setting and contrast, both poets contribute to presenting the theme of the realities of war.
Through both of his poems, Dulce Et Decorum Est and Disabled, Owen clearly illustrates his feeling about war. Both of them convey the same meaning that war destroyed people’s lives. For Dulce Et, Decorum Est, it mainly illustrates soldier’s life during war, the dreadfulness of war, whereas, Disabled illustrates how war have damaged soldier’s life. Also, the saying that said that war it is lovely and honorable to die for your country is completely against his point of view. Owen conveys his idea through graphically describing his horrible experiences in war.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Remarque, “In the Field” by Tim O’Brien, and “Dulce Et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen are all war stories that all share a similar theme. They all illustrate the terrible and gruesome imagery of modern war. The authors clearly have no intention of romanticizing the idea of war and only want to write the truth as they have experienced it. Literary devices such as similes and imagery is used throughout all of these works to depict the harrowing and appaling images of war in the reader’s mind.
During this session our stimulus was the poem by Wilfred Owen “Dulce et Decorum Est,” this showed us a version of conflict which is externalised: war. Our group took on the middle two stanzas of the poem and explored them:
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). Personifying the weapons demonstrates how pure soldiers have their innocence stolen from them through forced and blind usage of such deadly instruments. Accordingly, it is the weapons who truly receive the last laugh in the war as they kill both physically and spiritually, while soldiers are forever wounded in ways that can and cannot be seen.