Themes- Wilfred Owen

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Themes- Wilfred Owen

By | July 2013
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Wilfred Owen’s poems have numerous themes that explore the negativity of war. Owens poems talk about the truth of war. The poems focus on the fear of war, horror, sacrifice, glory and questioning life’s purpose. . In particular, the poems “Mental Cases” and “Dulce Decorum Est” both strongly emphasise the reality and horrific experiences of war. Dulce Et Decorum Est shows what it was like during the war and what the soldiers experienced. Mental Cases explores the aftermath of the war and the lives of those young soldiers. Mental Cases is a strong and powerful poem that concerns the aftermath of war. The poem alludes to many horrific memories that each soldier witnessed and shows that each memory is there forever. The poem builds up to the consequences of war and what impact it has had on the soldiers. This is shown in three stanzas of the poem. Each stanza discusses different aspects of the war, supported by numerous techniques that help to warn the home front that war is immoral and horrendous. The use of repetition in “Stroke on stroke of pain” is used to evoke feeling from the audience and to emphasise the pain suffered by the soldiers. The repetitive ‘s’ sound also creates imagery; you can almost see and sense what it would have been like to experience the war. Stanza one has five sentences with each of them being a rhetorical question. The first stanza question “who are these?” and “Why they sit in twilight?” Owen has used this stanza to engage the reader and force them to consider who these men were and how they have come to be here. The horrific language has left us to wonder what has happened to them. The simile “Baring Teeth that leer like skulls’ teeth wicked” allows the reader to consider how the soldiers felt and how they will never forget the graphic images they saw .Stanza two identifies what these men went through and why they became so mentally ruined and inhumane. The use of repetition of horrific images and alliterations such as “Batter of guns...

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