Topics: Poetry, Rhyme, Sun Pages: 2 (667 words) Published: March 22, 2013
What purpose does Wilfred Owen’s poem Futility serve?
Wilfred Owen wanted to show the true cost of war, there was a lot of pro war propaganda published during the 1st world war that glorified it, Wilfred wanted people to understand that it wasn't all heroic actions but was gruesome and scary for most, he also made political comments about how wrong war was and the long term effects. Owen started writing naturalistic poems about the horror of war. He wanted to show people war isn't that great as posters say and you will die at the end from your enemy. Wilfred Owen’s intention in using a sequence of three rhetorical questions in the final 6 lines of his WWI sonnet ‘Futility’ is to challenge his readers to find any natural or rational justification for war. Having described the miracle of human life he asks why we would want to destroy it, especially young life, so completely: “Was it for this the clay grew tall?” and his final question wonders, almost bitterly, why we were given life since we have wasted it: “- O what made fatuous sunbeams toil, To break earth's sleep at all?” Readers these days would agree with Owen but in 1918, when the poem was written, these reactions would have been seen an unpatriotic. The power of the questions is that they demand an answer – but there is no rational answer that could be given. The term and title of the poem; “Futility”, over views: how pointless and worthless war is. Futility means that something is destined to fail. “Futility” is Owens’s belief in the worthlessness of both God and war. The poet begins the poem talking of a certain “Him” It is obvious that the poet is talking about the soldier.  "Move him into the sun". The sun stands as a metaphor for the giver of life here. "Move" is an inexact word yet we feel the movement has to be gentle, just as the command has been quietly spoken. We may have been influenced by "gently" in line 2 which reinforces the previous impression, while...
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