Wilfred Owen - Disabled and Dulce Et Decorum Est

Topics: Man, Dulce et Decorum Est, Boy Pages: 3 (1182 words) Published: July 24, 2012
Distinctive ideas are at the heart of all poetry.
In your view, what is a distinctive idea explored in Wilfred Owen’s poetry? Explain how this idea is developed in at least two poems you have studied.

A distinctive idea that circulates throughout all of Owen’s poetry is the concept of the pity of war, this involves the devastating effects during and after the war. This is seen in his two poems Disabled and Dulce Et Decorum Est.

The pity of war is expresses in the poem Disabled which is the story of a young man who joined the war and returned with loss limbs, it is about the loss that the individual soldier has to bear. Owen begins with a metaphor “and shivered in his ghastly suit of grey” this allows the audience to visualise that the youthful man is no longer full of youth as he has been drained of colour as the war has made his lifeless and has prematurely aged him. He continues with sibilance “legless, sewn short at elbow” through this the audience learns that he has returned from the war with missing limbs. The idea of pity continues with the simile “voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn” to depict sadness which is contrasted to the idea of parks being fun and associated with happiness which, further reinforces what he is now missing out on.

The idea of the pity of war accompanied with the waste of youth, is explored with the use of a motif of time to reinforce his life of youth and happiness before the war. “In the old times, before he threw away his knees” this reinforces that before the war women were a prominent part of his life, this is juxtaposed to the present where “all of them touch him like some queer disease”. The idea of pity and waste is emphasised as the man can now never find love or have a relationship due to the effects of war, this leads to a life of loneliness the man now has to face.

A sharp contrast of the present to the past is used to give a sense of euphoria, which suggests to the audience that before the war he...
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