Main ideas in War Poetry The main idea in war poetry, written during World War One – 1914-18, is the harsh reality of war. Poets such as Wilfred Owen use the language techniques of simile, rhyme, repetition and personification to help convey the main idea. Owen uses techniques to paint a grim picture of what war was like and how it affected people. Through this, we see that war is often glorified, thus Owen was able to counter the glorification of war. After reading war poems we are able to get a true idea of how horrific war was and learn of its negative consequences.
‘Dulce et Decorum est’ by Wifred Owen Katriona Downie Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” is a magnificent, and horrific, description of a gas attack suffered by a group of soldiers in France in World War 1. One of his friends in his group is unable to get his helmet on in time and suffers horribly that Owen had to witness. This was an image he found extremely difficult to get out his head and kept coming back to him in his reoccurring nightmares. He writes this poem from the trenches while serving in war. Through his rhythms, dramatic description, and raw images, Owen seeks to convince that the horror of war far outweighs the patriotic clichés of those who glamorize war and increases my understanding of war and the horrors that come with it.
Mental Cases was written to demonstrate the mental consequences of war on participating soldiers in World War I. The subjects of this poem are the inmates in a military hospital. The poem displays a part of the war that to some civilians can be considered worse than losing your life, losing your mind due to shellshock. Owen describes how they are now forced to re-live the terrible acts that they have witnessed on the battlefield. The mood of the poem is one of fury, this is shown throughout the poem with the use of imagery.
Wilfred Owen was an active soldier during WWI, who used his horrific experiences during the war to write his poems. His poems stemmed from his views on war, as he believed that although war was sometimes necessary, it was futile and evil. Two of his poems, ‘Exposure’ and ‘Disabled’ both reveal the price paid by soldiers during WWI. ‘Exposure’ examines the more psychological effects on the soldiers and is written from the view of the soldiers on the front line, ‘Disabled’ shows the aftermath and repercussion of fighting in WWI and the physical damage it caused. The first word in ‘Exposure’ is ‘our’ and is written in first person plural, showing the reader that Owen wanted to convey the plight of the universal soldier and how they all suffered the same fate, no matter their side.
Anthem For Doomed Youth is a sonnet written by Wilfred Owen about the realities of war. Wilfred Owen was a soldier during WW1 and therefore understands fully the true experiences of war. He was against war and was appalled by the effects of war on people and their families. The purpose of the poem is to inform the public of the true realities of war and how young men where dying needlessly. This was because during war times the media would tell the public that the war going great and that the men where doing just fine, but this obviously just wasn’t true.
Sassoon’s poetry described the horrors of the war and how disgusting it is. Two poems which show the perspective of war is: Firstly, Counter-Attack, which describes how war is like; and secondly, died of wounds, which show the condition of war. The poems relate to the feeling and emotion war creates. Also it shows how horrible war is. The techniques that Sassoon has used in the poems are: imagery, simile, metaphor and onomatopoeia.
Through his poems, Owen highlights the unjust experiences of soldiers to create a protest against the bureaucracy because of how they justified the harming and killing of many for their own political gain. He does this by highlighting the actions and inactions of the bureaucracy that contribute to benefit of the administration. This can be explored in his poems ‘Parable of the Old Man and the Young’ (Parable) and the epic war poem ‘Disabled’. These two poems employ Owens message of anti-war sentiment to establish a connection with the audience through his manipulation of poetic techniques. Owen highlights such unjust experiences of the soldiers to augment his argument against the bureaucracy.
Owen commented on his poetry that ‘my subject is war, and the pity of it… all a poet can do is warn.’ Owen and Sassoon were both trying to warn young men against war and inform the public on how brutal and disgusting war actually is In both poems, after describing the obscene conditions of war and the impact that these conditions had on the soldiers, the poets dedicated a stanza to condemning the reader on any encouragement they may have had towards young men going to war. They did this through the use of personal pronouns. In ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ Owen condemns the use of the saying “Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori” (It is sweet and fitting to die for your country) by using personal pronouns to involve the reader in the reality of war “If you could hear at every jolt/ the blood come gargling from the froth corrupted lungs… my friend you would not tell with such high zest… the old lie: Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori.” In ‘Suicide in the trenches’ personal pronouns are also used to disapprove of the encouragement of war “You smug faced crowds… who cheer when soldier lads march by/ sneak home and pray you’ll never know/ the hell where youth and laughter go.” Personal pronouns are used in order to involve the
Owen's use of diction and figurative language emphasizes his point, showing that war is horrid and devastating. The use of very graphic imagery also adds to his argument. Through the intense content of the poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est," Wilfred Owen shows the reader the horrors of war. Owen compared the soldiers to animals in order to bring out their suffering. "Knock-kneed" is a condition that makes knees hit together when walking.
Introduction Paragraph 1 In his poem, Strange Meeting, Owen recreates the horror of war through his shocking and realistic account of the experiences faced by soldiers on the battlefields during World War One. “And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall, - By his dead smile I knew we stood in hell”. Owen has used first person and a pararhyme to reinforce the brutality and horrors of war. Owen came to the realisation, by talking to this man, that no one there was truly alive, breathing or not breathing. What mattered was the truth of war and what he felt he must share and let people know.