War Poems

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Discuss the ways in which the poets convey the horrors of war

In the two war poems “Dulce Et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen on “War Photographer” by Carol Anna Duffy, the writers convey the horrors in different ways. In Dulce Et Decorum Est” Owen writes from the perspective of a tired worn out soldier. In “War Photographer” Duffy writes from the perspective of a man who captured the war.

In the poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est” the main mood is dark and depressing. Owen refers to diction that allow the readers to feel sympathy for the “haunt[ed]” soldiers that are “drowning” in fear; Fear for their lives as they are always in danger because of bullets and bombs. Owen also helps to make the mood dark and depressing by using diction associated with death. When the men are gassed Owen describes them “guttering” and “choking” and shows the reader how they suffer to protect their country from harm. He also describes them as physically unable to fight because they are “bent double” this suggests that they are tired and have been walking for sometime.

Similarly in “War Photographer” Duffy creates a dark and depressing mood. Duffy also refers to diction that allow the readers to feel sympathy for the men in “agon[y]” and “pain”. However the context that “pain is in, implies that it is “ordinary”; things like scrapped knees and paper cuts and not capturing people die. Duffy also uses diction associated with death. When she describes the photographer being home again and not capturing “fields [that] explode beneath the feet” this shows the reader that during war, everyone suffers.

Owen uses the first line of the poem to its full effect. He portrays tried soldiers that immediately let the readers know he is talking about the horror and pain in war. Owen compares them to “old beggars”. This puts an image in the reader’s head of a tried of a tired person looking for a way out of their lifestyle, and causes them to have more sympathy for the soldiers at war. Like wise,...
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