Mental Cases Essay

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HOW HAS THE POEM ‘MENTAL CASES’ EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY ENGAGE THE RESPONDER? BY MICHAEL SGRO 10A “Mental Cases” is a poem written by Wilfred Owen. The aim of the poem “Mental Cases” is to show the emphasis of the mental consequences that war has on soldiers. Wilfred Owen uses an array of techniques in this poem to emotionally and intellectually engages the responder. 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. In the first stanza Wilfred Owen starts the poem by asking rhetorical questions in relation to the subject of the state of the soldiers’ minds. The first use of rhetorical questions this stanza uses is in the quote ‘Who are these?’ Owen uses this to show that the state of the soldiers is so inhuman that he does not recognize these soldiers as humans. The next use of rhetorical question is used in the quote asks “Why they sit they here in twilight”. This emphasises the idea that the soldiers with shellshock are in a state of their own mind and keeps them in an unhealthy mental state. Owen uses another rhetorical question in the quote “Stroke on stroke of pain, -- but what slow panic, Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets?” these quotes concentrate on the imagery of the soldier and pictures the soldier in constant pain that is caused by the terrible memories stuck in their mind. The final rhetorical question used in the first stanza by Owen is used in the
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