The Realities of War in Welford Owens "Dulce Et Decorum"

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The realities of war in Welford Owens “Dulce Et Decorum Est” Throughout history fighting for a war has often been regarded as an honorable and patriotic act. Movies like The Patriot, Independence Day and Saving Private Ryan tend to portray characters fighting for wars as brave and honorable. While these movies are entertaining and often inspirational, they do not accurately portray the realities of war. “Dulce et Decorum Est,” a poem by Wilfred Owen, depicts the true and darker reality of war. It is a poem that conveys a message about the brutalities and horrors of war to an ill-informed and complacent audience in England. The length of the poem is short, but powerful and wrought with vivid imagery, griping the reader’s attention from the beginning to the end. The poem focuses on the horrifying death of a solder in WWI who falls victim to gas warfare because he fails to attach his gas mask quick enough. Wilfred Owens, a war veteran himself, uses the story of the soldier to expose the harsh truths of war. With his effective use of imagery, diction and irony, Wellford Owens strips away the glory of war and reveals the horror of what it was really like to fight in WWI. Imagery is one of the powerful devise Owen uses to show the realities of war in his poem. Owen uses descriptive words and graphic imagery to provoke feeling and deep emotions within the reader as a way of driving home his anti-war message. For instance, he writes of “froth-corrupted lungs,’’(22)”sores on innocent tongues” (24)and even describes the dying man’s face as a “devil’s sick of sin“(20). As a reader one cannot help but get a mental picture of the terrible war condition as well as feel deep compassion for the soldier. The image of the suffering solder “guttering, chocking and drowning” (16) is disturbing but effective in grabbing the reader’s attention and is meant to wake them
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