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.
Slaughter House Five The novel Slaughter House Five presents the experiences of the main character Billy Pilgrim and his fellow comrades during WWII. The war forces suffering upon the soldiers and civilians involved, causing irreversible physical and emotional scars. The author primarily uses Billy Pilgrim to translate the negative affects associated with war to the reader, as he is an innocent target. During the progression of the novel it is evident that war triggers severe physical and emotional trauma and suffering to both Billy Pilgrim and all others involved. As a result of the war Billy is negatively impacted.
It shows us this by comparing the soldiers who should be young and fit to old beggars under sacks. This makes us think of them as haggard dirty and drawn old men hunched over and bent double with exhaustion and pain, finding it extremely difficult to walk. It also reveals to us that even young men who go to war lose part of their youthfulness, due to the terrible sights and circumstances, which is not right. All throughout the first stanza the author uses great adjectives such as knock kneed and similes 'coughing like hags’ to describe the terrible condition and state of exhaustion that these men are in. ‘Knock-kneed’ suggests that the soldier is trying to keep his knees together and his feet wide apart to keep himself steady so that he can continue walking.
From 1914 to 1918 there were 80,000 men from the British army suffering from shell-shock (spartacusschoolnet). Many soldiers were never the same after the war because of the things they saw and the way they lived in the war, they suffered with mental breakdowns and scares for the rest of their lives
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”.
How does Owen use language to convey the horror of War in ‘The Sentry’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’? ‘The Sentry’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ both convey the harsh reality of war that Owen personally experienced however, ‘Dulce...’ focuses on the pain of the gased soldier whilst Owen widens the perspective in ‘The Sentry. There are many similarities between both poems, such as the way Owen presents a dramatic image of war by use of language techniques, however there are also many differences. Owen uses language to show the reality of war. 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.
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.
By using a sonnet, a touch of irony is used. The conventional function for a sonnet is love, but this sonnet has a theme of a love that has turned bad. The young male population have so much patriotic love and are so eager to serve, but this love turns sour. They spend time rotting in the wastes of the trenches, only to be mown down by a machine gun nest. Not only are their lives wasted, gone without the holy ritual of funeral, but the lives of their loved ones at home are also ruined.
Die for your country Moral contradiction in a moral principle: utilitarianism. Homicide can be an appalling achievement, but while killing under utilitarianism jurisdiction of war can dismiss the horrific matters of taking lives. When putting death in a context of “dying for your country” the direness of the situation transforms into an admirable one. Propaganda, and the sociological aspects of not going to war, utterly employs all men into the army in complete blindness of reality. This is portrayed through WW1, in books such as Quite on the Western Front.
Compare how Conflict is presented in The Charge of the Light Brigade and one other poem. Alfred Tennyson’s charge of the light brigade shows a horrific battle during the Crimean War and therefore shows the disbelief and horror of conflict. Tennyson uses the poem to show the admiration and bravery of the solders in their determination to obey orders even though they were thoughtless. In contrast the title of Wilfred Owen’s Futility shows the overpowering sense of uselessness and helplessness in relation to conflict, felt by the soldiers in the face of their friends recent death. The poem focuses on the effect of conflict and is focused on an injured, probably dead soldier.