This simile is an important contrast of the information people were fed at the time of soldiers being strong and proud. Owen strips away the image of a glorified war to reveal the bitter and cruel nature of the war. The bitter imagery “Coughing like hags” and “but limped on” also develops the idea of these young man seeming old. Owen takes pity on these tired and weary soldiers as he describes them in the most unglamorous, inglorious manner. The statement “all went lame, all blind’, while being somewhat hyperbolic suggests that the soldiers had lost all previous objectives of war along with the line “cursed through sludge”.
He further portrays their dehumanised state through religious diction, ‘Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows’ to create a visual of soldiers rocking back and forth, trying to shake off their mental torment. This image is enhanced in the metaphorical hellish existence, ‘purgatory shadows’ to exemplify their eternal suffering. He portrays the soldiers losing their bodily functions and resembling animals in the rhetorical simile ‘baring teeth that leers like skulls wicked?’ This allows Owen to effectively show the audience the agony of war. He portrays the living hell of war that these soldiers relive day after day through personification,’ – these are men whose minds the dead have ravished. Their torment is reinforced in the juxtaposition, ‘treading blood from lungs that had once loved laughter’ to convey an image of these soldiers walking over decapitated corpses to emphasise the horror while humanising the dead men that ‘loved
Owen is addressing the reader, who possibly doesn’t have the first hand experience of the war, and criticising the enthusiasm with which the war is described, particularly to vulnerable children (BBC, 2013). Owen uses the language and a variety of literary devices to vividly depict the true reality of war and suffering of the soldiers. This is evident from the first two lines where Owen uses simile to describe soldiers who are ‘like old beggars’ and ‘coughing like hags’ (lines 1,2). They are ‘blood-shod’, ‘drunk with fatigue’ (lines 6,7). Owen depicts soldiers not as undefeatable heroes, but desperate, weak, and pitiful human beings.
Wilfred Owen said “my subject is war, and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity’”. The three poems I wish to explore portray Owen’s pity towards men going through the First World War. ‘The Send-off’ shows anonymous men who are about to depart to the battlefront, ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ explores trench life and, ‘Disabled’ charts the legacy of war on the wounded. ‘The send -off’, shows Owen’s cynical attitude towards war.
How is conflict presented in the poems Futility and The Charge of the Light Brigade? The title of Wilfred Owen’s ‘Futility’ captures the dominant sense of uselessness and helplessness in relation to conflict, felt by the soldiers in the face of their comrade’s recent death. The poem focuses on the effect of conflict and is focused on an injured, probably dead soldier. Owen uses this soldier to question to point of life being created it can be destroyed so easily. In contrast Tennyson’s Charge depicts a disastrous battle during the Crimean War and therefore shows the disbelief and horror of conflict.
I’ll plug him right between the shoulder blades.” Brown believes that Clark is being unreasonable and abusive towards his authority as brown tore his uniform while doing fatigues. Clark has no mercy towards his men which ultimately leads to his death. The soldiers lack of mercy and resentment unfortunately led to them dying is a very sadistic emotional state and not in a noble and courageous
The simile “like old beggars under sacks” illustrates the dirty, weak image of the soldiers which contrasts the strong, heroic image which was portrayed of them at the time. This image was the belief of Jessie Pope who encouraged men to fight for their country. In contrast, Owen uses personification in ‘The Sentry’ to convey the appalling living conditions on the frontline as the steps were “choked” by mud. This is effective as it shows how much slush and mud was in the trenches. Both poems use nightmare underwater imagery, in ‘Dulce...’ Owen describes a soldier as he starts “drowning” under a “green sea” when he is overcome by gas.
The poem however, rejects this maxim by vividly describing the condition of physically poor and decrepit old soldiers ready to die. The weary soldiers are returning from battle and the front liners are gassed unexpectedly by their enemies. The poem records the painful struggle of one of the men, affected by the poisonous gas, as he approaches his inevitable death. Throughout the poem, Owen creates gory, graphic images and uses apt diction to clearly convey the horror and squalor of the war and the soldiers’ extreme languor and suffering. To end the poem, he simply refutes the old Latin saying he considers a total lie; a fallacy.
HOW DOES WILFRED OWEN CONVEY THE HORRORS OF WAR IN POETRY ? Many of Owen's poems direct anger towards the generals and those at home who have encouraged war.Owen's war poetry is a passionate expression of outrage at the horrors of war and of pity for the young soldiers sacrificed in it. It is dramatic and memorable, whether describing physical horror, such as in 'Dulce et Decorum Est' or mental torment such as in' Disabled'. His poetry evokes more from us than simple disgust and sympathy. Owen sympathizes with the vain young men who have no idea of the horrors of war, who are 'seduced' by others (Jessie Pope) and the recruiting posters.
This positive representation of conflict could be linked to Tennyson’s role of Poet Laureate under Queen Victoria’s reign. On the other hand Futility could be considered as an elegy for the unnamed solider and opens with a tender and sad tone shifting to pointlessness in the second stanza. The use of the pronoun him in the opening line suggests this could be any soldier from World War one demonstrating the number of men who would remain unnamed and unclaimed during this conflict and how bad it was that so many people died, and even the most patriotic soldiers would still die, unnamed in the end. The Charge of the light Brigade comprises of six stanzas, of varying in length from six to twelve lines and goes in chronological order. This could offer the reader the sense of riding in to the battle with the soldiers.