Theme Of Exposure By Wilfred Owen

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How Wilfred Owen conveys the horror and futility of war

“My subject is war and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity.” A quote by one of the greatest war poet of all time, Wilfred Owen, shows his attitude towards poetry, a medium he used to portray the chaos of war. In his poetry, he depicts the horror and futility of war that he witnessed. His poetry, which lies in the ‘pity of war’, stirs the emotions of the reader beyond just sympathy.

The way Owen crafts the poem clearly shows the ‘pity’ that he emphasizes throughout his poetry. His choice of language and structure illustrate his experience and emotions regarding the tragedy of war. Also, the image of horrendous conditions and psychologically disturbed soldiers continuously remind …show more content…

The title, ‘Exposure’, has two purposes: first, to expose the state of the soldiers to the readers and second, to describe how the soldiers were exposed to the daily horror and danger of the war. In the first line, the phrase ‘our brains ache’, refers to the trauma of soldiers who are always worried about getting attacked even during their sleep. Also, considering that most of the soldiers were young boys, this poem tells us what the soldiers might have felt, scared waiting in the trenches, which must have felt like actual hell. The next line, ‘in the merciless iced cast winds that knive us’, adds on to explaining the horror of soldiers by not only mentioning their mental condition but also that their physical conditions were not well as well. By personifying the wind, which ‘knive’ the soldiers, it shows that soldiers were faced to fight against the weather not just the enemy. ‘Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent’ again refers to the horror of waiting, scared about being silent, which irritates the imagination of soldiers, portraying nightmare. Not only the horror itself, but it also describes to the readers that the soldiers had to remove their senses, trying to not feel or think anything in order to survive. All in all, the poem, ‘Exposure’, portrays the pitiful situation of soldiers waiting in the cold and fighting …show more content…

This line is evidently ironic in contrast with the content of the poem, which brutally describes the horror and the futility of the war. After the second stanza, Owen is focused on his experience of horror, ‘He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.’ shows his experience of watching a man dying from a gas attack. Furthermore, he says that we will not be able to experience the same feelings, but only in ‘some smothering dreams’. Through this he argues that individuals who have not been to the war should not promote it and his negative attitude towards propaganda, which told young men how great the war is, seeding deluded images of the war. Therefore, the poem plainly depicts the irony of the title which says that it is one of the best thing to die for your country when it is not. The ending of the poem, ‘The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori’, illustrates that war is not a glorious act but rather it is volunteering oneself to

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