Futility: Meaning of Life and Line

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“My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.” —Wilfred Owen. The subject matter of Futility is about a dead soldier while his friend moves him to the sun in hope that the sunshine will wake him again and also is a lament for the soldier. The poem’s theme goes deeper into a more philosophical side; it rethinks the meaning of life itself and how Nature is able to awake so many seeds and rule over so many people yet unable to revive his young friend. Futility creates much vivid imagery, such as the line, “At home, whispering of fields unsown/ Always it woke him even in France” This line quickly brings us back to the sweet memories of home. “Whispering of fields unsown” perhaps signifies that there are many dreams are yet to be realized and fulfilled. This line is able to convey Owen’s sadness to the reader, as it is obvious that the Soldier is still quite young when he met his death.

Futility takes form as a 14 line sonnet. Sonnets have a very strict structure, by using a sonnet structure form, this is able to show the seriousness of the poem and also the dejection of war. This poem has a slow pace, which is caused by the use of commas and dashes at the end of the line for example, “Move him to the sun—” This is able to give the reader a brief pause until they read the next line. The slow pace of the poem is able further exaggerate Owen’s deep sorrow and dolefulness. The line also begins talking of a certain “Him’ It is obvious that the poet is talking about the Soldier. The anonymity points to his relegation of identity; and lack of individuality in a system that places over the individual. Plus, this line also has a very soft and gentle tone to it, almost like a motherly hush. Not only that, this line is very direct and also in 1st person, the directness of this first line is already able to bring the reader into the scene and allowing them to experience it on their skin.

Futility has various negative vocabularies such as...
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