What Is The Juxtaposition In The Old Lie By Wilfred Owen

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Wilfred Owen uses diction and juxtaposition to display his emotions about “the old lie” that dying for one’s country is honorable. Examples of vivid word choice and contrast are evident, creating an impact upon the reader, making them feel almost uncomfortable at times with the powerful similes, that heighten truth to the reader about subjects they are often unfamiliar with. Owen integrates juxtapositions into his work, creating vivid contrasts between two seemingly unalike words. When the men are clamoring to reach their gas masks, the action is described as: “ An ecstasy of fumbling” . Ecstasy is the epitome of happiness, a euphoria, whereas fumbling is a clumsy, unintended mistake. This phrase describes what people think war is like versus what it really is in actuality, a false happiness to the public and a desperate struggle for the soldiers. The “ Fitting of clumsy helmets” also displays this general…show more content…
The diction Owens uses furthers the mechanical drudge the army is put through in the start of the poem. Comparisons such as “Bent double like old beggars…” and “ … coughing like old hags…” show the dread and drear of the soldiers marching off to battle, making the reader feel as if they are accompanying the front lines on this march. After the gassed man dies, the author uses powerful words and similes to paint a more believable picture for the reader. Phrases like “smothering dreams” and “ writhing eyes” display the true horrors of war and seeing a fellow soldier die. Similes like “ Bitter as the cud” and “ Obscene as cancer” show how haunting a real experience of death can be,one of the many sacrifices of fighting in a war. Nearer to the end of the poem it becomes apparent that he is frustrated that the media has put a glorified and glossy coating over war, unaware of the discordant reality that he and many other soldiers have been forced to live out in their
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