The poem is started unexpectedly: in the middle of action. As if half-way through an incomplete event that has already started. The soldiers are trying to escape the enemy's fire but their terrible health conditions dismiss them from strong immediate actions. “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, knocked-kneed, coughing like hags” this statement provides the reader with an unexpected view and appearance of soldiers, as the army cadets are usually picture as strong, healthy and brawny looking men. Owen erases this false image of an athletic soldier, replacing it with a description of a 'beggar' and a 'hag'.This means that the war had caused the soldiers to age prematurely. The following extract from the poems first part hints that Owen was present throughout the events: “we cursed through sludge,” In this quotation, the poet used his ability to create effective imagery and provides the reader with a feeling of pity for the soldier. Soldiers are exhausted from their unhealthy lifestyle. This prevents excuses their slow pace. The following sentence reveals a glimpse at the soldier's actions. “And towards our distant rest begun to trudge”
The final onomatopoeia of 'trudged' which suggest their slow pace and difficulty of movement. This means, that they limped and dragged themselves through these terrible conductions towards a 'distant' rest that was still far away, nowhere to be seen. In this statement the poet conveys the horrors of war by showing the reader the soldiers suffering. This made me feel awful and I doubled my sympathy towards the unfair fate or soldiers.
Wilfred Owen varies his language and choice of techniques throughout the poem to the point when every word gains a carefully planned meaning and every sentence has a purpose. Owen never fails to shock the reader with his thorough description of the poem's events. “And floundering like a man in fire and lime...”
Floundering could suggest no control and panic, while the finagling ellipsis could mean that the following events are too personal or terrible for Owen to mention.'like a man on fire' is a simile that describes the pains of the dying man. This sentence tells the reader that the man is out of control and his behaviour could be compared to a man's in fire. The poet made the reader experience pity towards the man by the use of his expressive language. This situation already made me realise how unfairly the soldiers had been persuaded into joining the army without the knowledge of what they were to come across. Owen had been haunted by his past and could not break free of what has happened to him. “In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,”
The first part of thus statement suggests how Owen has been haunted by the dreadful life-taking images, while the following phrases uncover his helplessness. Owen is trying to communicate his never-ending nightmare, as he has to face it every night, helplessly. Owen has used an effective...