Wilfred Owen Speech

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Wilfred Owen Speech War, in all its proposed glory and pride, is a futile slaughter of body and mind. The majority of lost souls sent to fight were much the same age as yourselves. Would you too consider it a futile waste of opportunity and capability if you were to lose your lives now? I fought aside young, innocent men, and together we searched for the ‘Dulce’ and ‘Decorum’ of war amongst the pools of blood and rotting corpses, only to discover that my service to my country was based on a great lie. A lie fuelled by propaganda which drowned the desperate amongst a green sea of choking gas. It is from these experiences that my poem ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ was inspired. At war, you will be degraded to ‘beggars’ and ‘hags’ and you will be hacked away so when you are at your most vulnerable, the gas attacks will send you into a desperate panic for clean air. The quickened pace stimulated by repetition and punctuation of the ‘Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!’ places a confronting reality amongst the literature. In addition, polysyllabic verbs such as ‘fumbling’, ‘stumbling’ and ‘floundering’ force you, the reader to place emphasis on these depictive words which create visuals and mirror those moments of sheer desperation. It is through the controlling techniques of pace and imagery in my poetry that I hoped to depict the violence and utter vulnerability of life at war. However, the horror does not stop there, the dehumanisation is unrelenting. Your very own identity will be stripped from you along with your youth, and once you have passed, you become just another addition to the stockpile of corpses that lay undignified in the scenery. As I described in blunt simile and imagery in ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’; ‘What passing-bells for those who die as cattle?... No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; The further manipulation of tone and pace through the use of
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