Futility: Poem by Wilfred Owen

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Owen used the natural world to achieve and explain to the reader that war was horrific. He wanted to write about this because he was a soldier and had experienced war himself and felt the need to write about his experience. The use of natural imagery also carries with it religious implications as he begins to express his doubt in his own faith. The theme of the natural world and the recurring theme of the sun helped him to achieve his thoughts because of the contrast between the beauties of nature, meaning nature created life and the horror of war which was destroying lives. The two poems which help Owen use nature to the most powerful are ‘Spring Offensive’ and ‘Futility’

The poem ‘Futility’ is suggesting by the title and letting the readers know that it was futile for the colleague of the soldier who was killed in war to attempt to revive him. Owen wanted to tell through the title that war itself was also futile. Owen made the theme of nature almost a character in the poem. He questions war, because he feels it was pointless, Owen also questions his religion as he begins to reconsider his faith which he shows us through his use of natural imagery as it details how nature’s power created life and war destroys it. Nature makes Owen question everything.



Throughout Owen’s poetry he shows the reader that his attitude towards was very negative. He uses the natural world to show us this. Owen was angry at nature because it did not use its power to wake the man. He was also angry at himself for taking part in such a pointless and horrific thing like war, also for going against nature and God. Owen’s attitude towards nature changes towards the end of the poem, from reading the start of the poem Owen conveys that nature had the power to bring the man back to life saying, ‘Always it woke him, even in France, until this morning and this snow’ which suggests that nature could always wake him, until this day. Towards the...
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