The repetition of question marks and dashes illustrate the confusion and frustration witnessing Owens fellow comrades, it is a demanding tone begging for explanation for the entrapment of victims. And as a result, it encourages the reader to consider the impact the war had on both, the soldiers who survived, and those who didn’t. Dulce et Decorum Est brings to reality that war is not what people say it is. Given by its very title, ‘It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country’. Although, it only an illusion reinforced throughout the poem, along with its irony and sarcasm that is ‘The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori’, it is not sweet and fitting to die for ones country.
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 compares soldiers fighting in war to sick old men because it shows that soldiers are like outcasts from society. At the top left of the poster, the image shown represents the difficulty and the terrible physical outcomes, soldiers found travelling on ground particularly in sludges as Wilfred Owen states in the first stanza: “Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge” The use of the word Knock-kneed is alliteration for emphasis, a hard, staccato sound to echo the harsh mood of these lines and soldier’s misery. It stresses echo the brutality of the soldiers’ destruction, their transformation from healthy young men into ‘beggars’ and ‘hags’. The use of the word coughing compares men to sick women, showing how they are unrecognisable; they have lost their masculinity, youth, health and therefore are now deemed to be outcast’s within the society. The word sludge is onomatopoeia to imply how heavy and difficult the ground is to cross for soldiers.
Stephen Touma Wilfred Owens poetry is driven by a passionate exploration of humanity at its worst. Refer to 2 poems Poetry written by Owen is directed by an intense examination of the human condition and society at its most negative state. Owen doesn’t merely search or subliminally display these experiences he heatedly exposes humanity at its absolute worst. Owen illustrates these experiences through his explanation of the exhaustion of soldiers and their movement between the battlefield, and the sacrifices of war. This can be seen in his two poems ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘Parable of the Old man and the Young’.
The swirl and muddle of rough and raw emotions of the battlefield, permeating the air like a smog. They think war is a game … when someone is shot they merely die… They do not know, cannot know the truth, cannot hear the screams of dying broken men, crying for their mothers. The tremor of men in their death throes, missing limbs, spewing their own entrails. The malodorous fetor of death loosened bowels. How could we have fathomed the unvarnished nature of war, it was supposed to be an adventure to find our true measure.
This is illustrated throughout Shogun in the form of seppuku, a form of honorable suicide, especially for samurais who failed in battle. For example, in response to an insult, Blackthorne attempts seppuku, but is stopped because Toranaga needs him alive. This changes the view of him that the Japanese have, which was previously that he was dishonorable and filthy, like the other survivors of the shipwreck. As a result of this event, Blackthorne is given
Owen also seeks to expose the betrayal of the authorities throughout poems such as ‘Disabled’ and ‘The parable of the old man and the young.’ He expresses how they acted with a disregard for the lives of their countries young men. Religion and its betrayal during the war is also emphasized by Wilfred Owen in ‘Anthem for doomed youth.’ He shows how the belief in religion did nothing to dampen the grim realities of war and he even begins to question his own beliefs. Another way Owen feels he has been betrayed is through the way society treated those soldiers who had suffered both mental and physical injuries. They were labelled as cowards and looked down upon. This is best shown in the poem ‘Disabled.’ Owen was ultimately driven by the betrayal of the authorities, religion and society and he used his horrifying experiences of the war to exemplify this betrayal.
The poet is saying that people should not talk about war as enthusiastically as it gives the impression that war is glorious. Furthermore, he says that the idea that ’it is sweet and right’ to die for your country is entirely untrue. Through this, we are able to form the opinion that war is not okay because it is a serious thing that carries many negative consequences. In Wilfred Owen’s poem Dolce et Decorum est, the use of similes conveys the harsh reality of war on soldiers as it changes them dramatically and kills the majority of them. In the first two lines of the poem, Owen uses the similes “Bent double like old beggars under sacks, knocked kneed, coughing like hags” to paint a grim picture in readers minds of how the soldiers were.
Owen starts the second stanza with an ironic ‘merry.’ The war front was not a happy place, but a place filled with intense pain and death. In the next line Owen exposes reality of how ‘death becomes absurd and life absurder’ and how soldiers lost all morality and became desensitised as they felt no ‘remorse of murder.’ The soldiers were trained to be mindless tools of their government as they did what they were ordered to do without questioning the morality of what they were instructed to do. Owen personifies fear as something which can be ‘dropped off’. Fear can be paralysing which can be disastrous for a soldier. ‘Behind the barrage, dead as my platoon’
No, they are not, all they know is that their son or brother is gone, and the only reason for their loss, is a war which is completely futile, a pointless war which destroyed an entire generation. The novel also talks about pointless attacks on the enemy that can only result in certain death. A specific example of this is Pages 172-175 of Private Peaceful. This is the section of the novel where Sergeant Hanley gives a direct order to a group of men to storm the enemy’s line in broad daylight, which can result only in death. When Charlie refuses to follow the order, he is sent to the