Wilfred Owen's Exposure :
Brains aching, dying, eyes becoming ice, all this sounds like a nightmare. In Wilfred Owen's "Exposure," the speaker talks about the nightmares of not war but the cruelty of nature. In Exposure, Owen describes the fury of nature and how soldiers in the war die not only because of war. Exposure to the severe cold is killing everyone. The speaker starts off by saying, "Our brains ache." The negative nature of this statement gives one a clue as to the negative themes in the rest of the poem. One of the present themes in the poem is silence. However, the presence of silence is ironic because it is wartime, and that is a time of noise and chaos. This silence is unnerving for the war soldiers also as stated, "Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous, but nothing happens. Another theme in the poem is death. The theme of death is not surprising at first, since it is wartime and people die during war, but these people are dying because of the cold. The war in the poem is practically nonexistent. The speaker constantly talks about dying, like the time he asks, "Is it that we are dying?" Or when he says, "For love of God seems dying." Clearly, these people have no hope whatsoever. A very important theme, God, is also present in this poem. "Since we believe not otherwise can kind fires burn; Nor ever suns smile true on child, or field, or fruit. For God's invincible spring our love is made afraid; Therefore, not loath, we lie out here; therefore were born, For love of God seems dying." The speaker's words show that he is a believer of God and everything that's happening is God's doing. The ambiguity of the line, "For love of God seems dying," is confusing because it has not been clearly specified if God's love for man is dying, or man's love of God. Either way, God would is displeased and will kill man. It may seem the poem has pessimistic thoughts all the way through it, but no. Stanza six has a little bit of a cheery moment in it....
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