Dulce Et Decorum Est (Poem Analysis)

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War, something that people took part in it in order to be patriotic, to travel with friends or not look like cowards to their women and their country encouraged this! “It is sweet to die for your country” they said. War was made to look as a good thing in which men gave up their lives every day in petrifying and unimaginable ways. Families torn apart and men stripped of their innocence all in a few hours and days. In the poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est” Owen shows us that war is not what it is said to be - how the countries use their men. We see the truth uncovered through the eyes of a fellow soldier. In the very first line Owen uses a simile – “Bend double, like old beggars under sacks”. Every word of this quote defies what the encouraging posters say about war. The men are “like old beggars” as though they have lost everything, their home, their family, their patriotism. the fact that Owen calls these young strong men ‘old’ shows that the war is so hurting that the men are in a way prematurely aging for example old people’s back start to hurt after a long fun filled life but in this case young men are losing so much and not gaining anything. He also says that they are “under sacks” which tells us that the men have reached a point where they are so weak that the sacks seem to be stronger by saying that they are ‘under’ sacks. “Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots”. In this quote it shows just how tired and worn out these men are that they are in a way ‘drunk’ but Owen doesn’t mean that they are intoxicated on alcohol. He is saying that they are drunk with ‘fatigue’ and when person is drunk they hardly have control over themselves therefore if a man is drunk with fatigue he is so tired and so out of control that he is just going mad. In the second half of the sentence where Owen says that the men are “Deaf even to the hoots” shows literally just how tired the men are because when an explosion takes place you would expect a reaction that is anything but deaf...
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