Owen challenges public perception of war and evokes moral outrage. He portrays the horrors, mistreatment of the soldiers and brutality felt throughout war. Owen wanted to inform, awaken and enlighten his reader about what war was really like. Owen shows us both his experiences throughout war and the soldiers as he attempts to show it from their perspective. He wanted to highlight the sacrifices, ugliness and barbarity of war as a way of arousing awareness. Owens use of similes, metaphors, images, personification, hyperbole, paradox, irony and didactic sense are used to link and develop his ideas throughout his poems.
‘Dulce et Decorum est’ (it is both sweet and fitting to die for your country): This poem is graphic and confronting for it recounts the shocking details of the horrific sights, sounds and feelings a group of exhausted soldiers experience once under gas attack on the front line. ‘began to trudge’ eternal struggle.
‘sludge’ alternate rhyme emphasises eternal struggle further. ‘all went lame, all blind’ hyperbole used to emphasises pain and suffering. The repetition of ‘all’ furthermore emphasises the extent of injury and death. ‘flung him in’ shows dehumanisation to emphasise miss-treatment of soldiers ‘watch the white eyes writhing his face’ the alliteration elongates the line which emphasises the extended pain in which the soldiers experienced. It also encourages the audience to imagine the sound and taste of suffering. ‘come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs’ metaphoric description creates an image in the audience’s mind of how helpless one is while watching this man die. The onomatopoeic word ‘gargling’ startles the reader.
‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’:
This poem was written in 1917 while Owen was in a war hospital suffering from shell shock. This poem describes death, violence and the sacrifice of the youth within war. As men become beasts, slaughtered on the battle field being robbed of both their...