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.
Essay English Wilfred Owen is a famous writer. Renowned for his anti-war poems about World War I. His poems were trying to send a message to people to realise the horrors of war. He uses contrast, metaphors, similes and half-rhyme to help deliver this message as well as “painting” a picture in the readers mind. These poetic techniques are seen in two of his poems “Disabled” and “Mental Cases”.
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.
Unlike other authors, Owen’s purpose was to reveal the awful truths of war and let us see past what was said to be glorious. His poems ‘Dulce et Decorum est ‘ and ‘Disabled’ tell of his personal experiences of battle and how war continues to inflict pain upon returned soldiers. Similes and metaphors are two language features Owen used that helped me understand the important idea of the true horrors of war, which is worth learning about today. In ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ one language feature used was similes, displaying the awful scene of physically drained men and a gruesome gas attack which depicted the important idea of the true horrors of war. The poem begins with the vivid simile “bent double, like old beggars under sacks”.
Gas! Quick, boys! !” this achieves the sense of haste the writer was trying to achieve by using short sentences and exclamation marks to grab the attention of the reader, also this contrasts with the first verse describing the sense of exhaustion to the one of extreme panic and anger. “Owen’s fear of the ‘haunting flares’ creates the impression that war is a nightmarish and horrific experience. The simile that compares the soldiers with coughing ‘hags’ emphasises this and the corrupt, unhealthy connotations
Introduction Paragraph 1 In his poem, Strange Meeting, Owen recreates the horror of war through his shocking and realistic account of the experiences faced by soldiers on the battlefields during World War One. “And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall, - By his dead smile I knew we stood in hell”. Owen has used first person and a pararhyme to reinforce the brutality and horrors of war. Owen came to the realisation, by talking to this man, that no one there was truly alive, breathing or not breathing. What mattered was the truth of war and what he felt he must share and let people know.
Owen wants his reader to feel exactly what he felt about the war, persuade his reader to believe the terror, pain and torture of the war, how devastating can a war effect a human being. He uses imagery and innovative metaphors through the poem. In the first two lines, ‘Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge’, Owen is using figurative language combined with simile and alliteration literary devises to reveal the reality of the war. Soldiers are
Wilfred Owen was an active soldier during WWI, who used his horrific experiences during the war to write his poems. His poems stemmed from his views on war, as he believed that although war was sometimes necessary, it was futile and evil. Two of his poems, ‘Exposure’ and ‘Disabled’ both reveal the price paid by soldiers during WWI. ‘Exposure’ examines the more psychological effects on the soldiers and is written from the view of the soldiers on the front line, ‘Disabled’ shows the aftermath and repercussion of fighting in WWI and the physical damage it caused. The first word in ‘Exposure’ is ‘our’ and is written in first person plural, showing the reader that Owen wanted to convey the plight of the universal soldier and how they all suffered the same fate, no matter their side.