Wilfred Owen

Powerful Essays
Topics: Poetry, Sonnet, Artillery
Wilfred Owen Essay
Theme: The way weaponry has been portrayed.

Throughout literature poets have used various literary devices in order to convey their message to the audience. Wilfred Owen has cleverly personified weaponry in the context of war and has woven it in his poems. This in turn accentuates the message he is trying to convey-- the paradox of War. The use of this tool is most prominent in three of his poems, The Last Laugh, Arms and The Boy and Anthem for Doomed Youth. In these poems he depicts weapons as sinister, flesh-hungry savages whose only purpose is to kill. In Anthem for Doomed Youth Wilfred Owen writes and elegiac sonnet moaning the loss of innocent life. Like his other poems to one too is steeped in irony. War he wants to point out is not fanfare and glory. It is dirt and muck and pain and struggle which ultimately end in death. His view of war is greatly influenced by his own experiences. Disenchanted, brutalised and lied to by his own nation he like so many others felt betrayed. They were taught that war was glorious and soldiers were proud and valiant, the truth of it was that war was none of these and soldiers were being herded like cattle to tthose deaths. He goes on to personify weapons in the Last Laugh as mocking the soldiers that they ruthlessly killed using words such as “guffawed and chirped” In the poem Arms and the Boy, Owen changes the portrayal of the weapon and showcases it as a toy that is being handed out to a child “Let the boy try along this bayonet-blade”. Along with the description of the weapon Owen also juxtaposes the loss of innocence that prevailed during the time of war. In the poem Sonnet On Seeing a Piece of Our Heavy Artillery brought into Action Owen portrays weapons as an object that has to be paid respect to, this is shown by the words ‘thou, thee’. He furthermore goes on to personify the guns by saying that he slowly lifted ‘thou long black arm’ and also describes the destruction that

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