The realities of war in Welford Owens “Dulce Et Decorum Est” Throughout history fighting for a war has often been regarded as an honorable and patriotic act. Movies like The Patriot, Independence Day and Saving Private Ryan tend to portray characters fighting for wars as brave and honorable. While these movies are entertaining and often inspirational, they do not accurately portray the realities of war. “Dulce et Decorum Est,” a poem by Wilfred Owen, depicts the true and darker reality of war. It is a poem that conveys a message about the brutalities and horrors of war to an ill-informed and complacent audience in England.
Both Dawe and Slessor use powerful imagery to illustrate their anti-war sentiments. The two poems address the gravity of war and the awful sacrifices of men too young to die and the use of imagery in each adds another dimension and plays a crucial part in emphasizing the message of pieces. Imagery is used in both poems to create a sense of unification in death, both between the families of the dead boys as in homecoming when Dawe used imagery such as ‘the spider grief swings’ through the ‘wide web of suburbs’ as the news of death reaches each house and unifies the whole country in mourning. But a different type of unification in beach burial as Slessor unifies the dead soldiers from both sides of the war, ‘the sand joins them together’ in their graves, they are all labelled as ‘unknown soldiers’ and Slessor describes them all as ‘gone in search of the same landfall’. Another type of imagery that appears in both poems in the description of the war itself and the imagery used reinforces the brutality of it, so is the aim of both poems.
Module B: Close study or a Text Stanley Theadoro: Hello! I’m Stanley Theadoro and welcome to tonight’s special of the “Past Wars”, featuring a courageous man whose poems have helped inspire and change the perception of individuals and groups on the controversial idea of, war. This is a man who once was all about holding patriotic ideals when the outbreak of the German and French war arose, a man who encouraged the people of England to fight. I’m sure we are aware of the current situations with minor wars arising such as the Israeli and Palestinian war and the terrorism arising around the world with current terroristic events such as ISIS. With these events occurring, I believe the happening of another World War could occur.
Question: Outline the important ideas in Owen and Sassoon's poetry and how those ideas are conveyed to the responder. In your response make detailed reference to at least two of the poems set for study. Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, both famous war poets of their time and today have recounted the reality and the aftermaths of war through the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. Owen and Sassoon, one an officer and the other a soldier of World War I has expressed, protested and revealed the untold reality of war. Their use of poetic techniques such as free verse and solid imagery has helped society in understanding the harsh veracity of conflicts, as well as the mood and opinions of the men caught up in the war.
The word ‘convoys’ is irony and tells the readers that there were a lot of dead people not just one or two bodies. ‘At night they sway and wander in the waters far under, But morning rolls them in the foam,’ is imagery of the dead soldiers being washed ashore. ‘Morning rolls them’ is personification. The second stanza begins with onomatopoeia, ‘sob and clubbing of the gunfire.’ This reinforces the war situation. The word ‘pluck’ is animal imagery and shows the unemotional side to war.
How do different poems portray different attitudes to war? Wilfred Owens’s poem ‘’Dulce et decorum est’’, aims to transmit the human elements and the reality and irony of war, or as he said ‘’ my object is war and the pity of war, the poetry is in the pity’’. Owen portrays the idea of war as a cause of physical and spiritual mutilation. Jessie popes poem ‘’ who’s for the game?’’ attempts to encourage young man to go and fight at war. All through out the poem she is trying to put pressure on those who don’t want to go to war.
Depictions of warfare and accumulated images of death in the second stanza answer the rhetorical questions in the first stanza about the origin of these creatures. “Death” has been personified to emphasise that the memories of the surviving soldiers are tainted with “sloughs of flesh” of past soldiers whose “multitudinous murders they once witnessed.” The juxtaposition of “treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter” highlight that these ‘mental cases’ were once people who had human value too. The transformation of these soldiers has been due to the effects of war as Owen continues to accumulate images of death in the battlefield through onomatopoeia of “batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles.” The third stanza underlines the significance of shock and trauma in the battlefield for soldiers as they cannot face the reality of countless casualties. The alliteration of “sunlight seems a blood-smear” conveys the image of
“Floundering like a man in fire or lime” The literal images depict the horror of death in war, abolishing the romantic notions of war set up previously by jingoistic poets of the time, such as Jesse Pope. Owen goes on to further confront these patriotic views in the final four lines of the poem. “My friend you would not tell with such high zest, to children ardent for some desperate glory, The Old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est, Pro patria mori.” This sardonic address to the aggressive nationalist views of the era causes a strong reaction in readers as they realize the truth about war – how horrific and desolate the scene actually is. “Anthem for Doomed Youth” explores another aspect of a soldier’s life in World War One. Death is corrupt and vile, and the soldiers must suffer all by themselves.
￼Compare and contrast how World War One poets express their view of war in their poetry. ‘Who’s for the Game?’, ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, and ‘Disabled’, completely contrast each other; one of the poems glorifies war, whilst the others portray the harsh truth about the outcomes of war and its futility. They show the cycle of a soldiers’ understanding of war. First, Jessie Pope’s ‘Who’s for the Game?’ was designed as a propaganda poem to encourage men to become a part of the army and fight for England. It shows how men felt while signing up to the army or air force.
Isabelle Moran English Speech Wilfred Owen “Texts have the power to shape our perception of the world” This statement is demonstrated in Wilfred Owens poem’s Mental Case and Disabled. Through these poems’ Owen exposes and explores the reality of war by using his own terrifying experiences on the battle field to influence individuals perspectives on war. Owen’s poem mental case, a powerful poem, captures the damage to mens’ minds due to war. Owen utilises language and form to shock and describe in detail the appalling physical symptoms of mental torment. Through the title Owen displays men that were in their prime turn into wrecks.