Comparison of the Man He Killed, the Send-Off and Dulce Et Decorum Est

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The Send-Off, by Wilfred Owen, is an ironic and dark humoured description of how the soldiers we’re sent off to the battlefront, during World War I. In this poem, Owen conveys to us that the soldiers are being sent to their doom. From the very start we sense the soldiers’ lost fate. The soldiers go to the train, they are singing joyfully, as if they are being sent to a country picnic, but of course the narration is omniscient, we know what lies ahead of them, and so simultaneously the lanes are darkening around them. This poem actually conveys a message that war is not as glorious and honourable as it is always portrayed as. Even the title, The 'send-off' could mean two things. Firstly, it could mean that the soldiers were being sent off to war. However, it could also mean that the soldiers were being "sent off" to their deaths. This emphasizes the fact that war actually is not what it is portrayed to be. It is not glorious and honourable to fight in war but the people and soldiers going through it suffer greatly and most do not survive. Similarly, “The Man He Killed” also portrays war negatively which is reflected through the poets choice of words describing war such as, “quaint and curious war is!”. However, 'The Man He Killed' focuses on the senselessness and futility of war, where a man has killed another quite simply because they were fighting on opposing sides in a war. Likewise “Dulce et Decorum Est” illustrates the harsh reality and brutality of war but in this poem the poet writes about an actual event in war that he has witnessed. 'Dulce et Decorum Est' describes a mustard gas attack on a group of war-weary soldiers. Owen's painfully direct language combines gritty realism with an aching sense of compassion.
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