Wilfred Owen - War

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The nature of war is horrific and dehumanising. It is an extreme experience that deals with the obscenity of death and sacrifice for your country that pushes the individual to their emotional and physical limitations. Wilfred Owens poetry is a passionate expression of outrage at the horrors of war and of the pity for the young soldiers scarified in it, this is shown though a variety of poetic techniques. Owen explores the physical horror that war represents in “Dulce et Decorum Est”, this poem condemns those who glorified the war and tempted men to join the army with heroic rhetoric and looks at the realistic physical outcome of war. In “Disabled” Wilfred conveys the physical and long lasting effects that war leaves on the individual. By exploring these poems it compels the reader and gives them a better understanding of the experiences and harsh nature of war.

Owen experienced the horrific nature of World War One. His vivid descriptions of the soldier’s conditions and the trauma of witnessing death compel the reader to look at the futile nature of war and the physical damage that is done to its participants. The Gas attack is the main event in this poem “GAS, GAS!” the repetition and use of the exclamation mark emphasises the dangerous nature of the gas, it quickens the pace for the reader this shows the frantic struggle they are faced with as they try to “fumble” to safety. The mass devastation of death and loss is shown as he reminisces in his dreams of his friend dying “Guttering, stumbling, Drowning” these polysyllabic terms make evident their helplessness. The vivid vile imagery “come gargling from the froth – corrupted lungs” describes the visual and audible sounds associated with the dying man help the reader visualize the confronting truth of the horrific nature of war. There is nothing glorious in their physical, emotional or mental state. We see this in the first stanza where their ill health is shown though similes such as “coughing like hags”...
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