Wilfred Owen Comparing Poems

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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. He opens with the line “Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way”. The deliberate alliteration of the “d’s”, of ‘down’ and ‘darkening’ display Owen’s cynicism towards the war. I think Owen is cynical because he himself knows the illusion of war. The soldiers are, “grimly gay”, which is oxymoronic as this quotation seems to be implying that they are forcing themselves to be happy. To further enhance his cynical view of war, Owen uses lexical field of death, ‘dead’, ‘grimly’, ‘wreath’ are placed within the poem, showing the reader the realism of war. This again is shown when the women give ‘them flowers’. This represents them going to their deaths. In “Dulce et Decorum est” one particular man is severely suffering from an awful gas attack. The gas is entering his lungs and drowning them, the rest of his friends have to merely watch as he is “Guttering and choking”. This would be a traumatic scene to experience as well as to witness; it would probably mentally scar the soldiers. At one point the Soldier dying directly asks the narrator for help, this is a very prominent part of the poem and emphasises the pure desperation. Also, similarly to “The Send Off” Owen continuously uses sarcastic and rude comments towards the government. In “Dulce et Decorum est.”, he writes “To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori”. This is insulting towards the government’s best efforts to enlist men to
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