This extract from the short story 'The Truth about War' deals with the ambiguity and contradictions of war; particularly focussing on the comparison between the beauty and brutality of it. O'Brien tries to convey to us through the use of compare and contrast that there is hope of peace in war. War will make you grow up due to what you have experienced. War will make you value life. O'Brien's extract conveys to the readers the contradictory feelings that war evokes in a person.
First thoughts Generals Die in Bed is a powerful novel, which vividly conveys the experience of the common soldier in World War One. Its title, part joke, part outrage, signals the author’s intention as polemical. The author creates a barren landscape, destroyed by war, and the characters inhabit this wasteland. The characters are seen fleetingly, in particular moments only, and we divine what they are feeling mostly through their actions. The story is punctuated by vivid descriptions of trench warfare, description of rest periods, and of the discomfort and danger of life in the trenches.
Owen is comparing the effects of cancer to the horror of war. This could show that he thinks that being in the trenches not knowing whether you will live or die is worse than knowing you will die of cancer. Linking in again with the governments war propaganda, maybe Wilfred Owen also wanted to comment on the propaganda of war which to remind the population that the glory of war is a widespread and fallacious lie and war destroys the lives of young people, and war is not “the game, the biggest that’s played”. This could also be a provocative comment on Jessie Pope’ s “Who’s for the game.” Indeed, generally, Jessie Pope’s “Who’s for the Game” is a contradiction to Wilfred Owens “Dulce Et Decorum Est”. For example, Dulce Decorum Est has a sematic field of ill health.
This notion is further emphasised through the use of jargon in the lines, “The Japs used to weigh us, to see how thin our bodies could get before we started dying”. This statement implies the nature of the camp to be brutal and unforgivable. Misto has incorporated both visual images and jargon to create an effective sense of authority to therefore relive their experience of war through memory. Likewise, the poem Dulce et decorum est by Wilfred Owen is how the post himself saw war with no knowledge, imagination or training which prepared Owen for the shock and suffering of front line experience. Its horrifying imagery has made it one of the most popular condemnations of war ever written.
Owen then seeks to convince the reader that it is not honourable or right to die for your country, as the title of the poem suggests so. He does this very successfully by presenting his very own opinion through a series of horrific and blood gorging imagery to show that the war is not honourable to die for. In stanza one, Owen describes the physical state of the soldiers to allow the reader to visualise and sense the cruel reality of how the war was for them. Their situation is made more realistic through the use of first person plural as displayed in the line “we cursed through the sludge”. Unexpected and contrasting descriptions of the soldiers such as referring to them as “bent double, like old beggars under sacks”, and associating them with animals by referring to them as “blood shod”, also changes the reader’s perception of what conditions were like during the war.
Hardy uses slang to get the reader involved in the poem, this allows Hardy to make a strong point in highlighting the irony behind how war can turn friend into foe simply by association and sway the reader against war. Both poems are against war and the reasons and ethics behind them. Though Hardy uses a more direct approach to get his point across, both poems successfully complete the objective that the poets had for them, which was to open the reader's eyes to the true reality of war. In "Dulce et decorum est", Owen is showing how the press and public at home were comforting themselves in the belief that all the young men dying in the war were dying noble, heroic deaths. Owen on the other hand, shows how the reality was quite different; the young men were dyeing and deaths in the trenches.
While fighting Owen met Siegfried Sassoon who inspired him to write war poetry to tell the truth about soldiers lives and the awful things that they go through while on the front (Wilfred Owen). Rupert Brooke also had prior experiences as a poet, but it was the action he saw on the front line at Antwerp that inspired him to write war poetry. Brooke was very patriotic and his poems reflected his loyalty to England (Allen). Owen and Brooke were both very reputable World War I poets that had very different views on war, which could be based on the different positions they held in the war. Wilfred Owen was strongly against war and used his poems to display to the readers back at home what war was truly like.
He explained that people would encourage you to fight yet to fight meant to sentence yourself to an unnecessary death. Owen states war is not worth it and meaningless. He claims to have entered the army with high hopes of serving his country and receiving the glory that was always talked about, but the reality of war was fundamentally different because instead of the celebration and praise he thought he would receive, he only got nightmares and regrets. The title of the poem means “sweet and fitting it is,” and Owen finishes the poem by writing the tile is, in fact, a lie. Owen’s poem is known for its alluring presentation of horrific imagery and
An important theme throughout the poem is the concept of war used to glorify violence. The title of the poem which was widely used propaganda at that time exalts the concept of war, saying it’s a good and honourable thing to die for your country, but in reality, as evidenced by the soldier in the poem could not be more different. The idea of suffering is explored with the use of depressing and dismal language. The use of simile such as “bent double like old beggars” gives the impression that the soldiers have been prematurely aged, and seemingly deformed by the harsh conditions of war. This simile is an important contrast of the information people were fed at the time of soldiers being strong and proud.
An American Journey through the delusions of war Ambrose Bierce has always based his story on contrast between his main characters hopes and dreams and the spiteful truth that showed their insignificance. His attitude toward his own experiences is meaningful and makes him and according to Woodruff in his study The short stories of Ambrose Bierce he “react to war’s humorous side, or to the natural beauty of his surroundings” (38). This essay intends to examine the different themes brought in “Chickamauga” as well as the message that Bierce is trying to convey on the reality of war and its negative effects on men. In analyzing Ambrose Bierce’s “Chickamauga.”, this essay will show how both the setting and the different themes such as war and human ignorance are provided by the American’s history of war. They are showed through the use of historical references and through the young child’s innocence.