Rupert Brooke And Wilfred Owen's The Soldier And Fuutility

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‘The Soldier’ and ‘Futility’ are two poems which discuss war. Both poems, written by soldiers Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen respectively, were written at different stages of the war, prior to their deaths. Both poems discuss this theme in several ways. Brooke and Owen both acknowledge there is a lot of death in war, however they each see this ultimate sacrifice for their country from a different perspective.

The poem ‘Futility’ concerns a soldier or several soldiers moving a recently deceased fellow soldier into the sun, hoping its warmth will revive him. Despite the sun’s life giving properties, it can do nothing for the young man, his life cut short like the “fields half-sown”. This was a reality known all too well to Owen, who witnessed countless times young men killed before their lives had barely begun. This was illustrated with the imagery of the sun contrasting its vitality and warmth with its ultimate inability to wake one who has died. In the first stanza, the sun is personified and described as ‘kind’ and ‘old’, its warmth, ancient and affirming, yet in total contradiction with the brutality of war. The speaker is quiet and gently hopeful when he asks that the body be moved into the sun. Owen focuses on the bond between man and nature in this poem. In the second stanza, the speaker becomes more upset and questioning, the tone shifting to accomodate the change in his mindset. The meaning of the title “Futility” is magnified here, bringing into question how

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