Wilfred Owen's War Poems

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‘Owen’s poetry is essentially a protest against the uselessness of War.’ To what extent do you agree? Wilfred Owen’s Anthology, The War Poems makes use of many different styles, forms and various other techniques to convey a very specific singular point, war in itself, is an entirely pointless endeavour. The cost is too high, the gains, too low, and in the end, we are left with a world scorn and in ruins. Owen explores the physical and psychological effects of war on the soldiers that put their lives on the line to serve their country. He then examines the way in which these soldiers are treated as nothing more than a commodity to be spent on the battlefield. Finally Owen exposes the type of conditions these men and women were forced to live through on a daily basis and how this affected their lives. Owen is aggressive in his attention to structure, symbolism and metaphors to intensify meaning and his strong use of figurative language illustrate the sights and sounds of the battlefield. Throughout the text, Owen makes many references to the effects war has on a man’s body, and his mind. He contemplates the physical effects on the soldiers, more specifically the loss of limbs due to a different number of circumstances. In ‘Disabled’, Owen explores how these men are now ‘legless’ and incapable of living normal life, specifically, being able to ’feel again how slim girls' waists are’. He also mentions the severe psychological effects on the soldiers and how even after the war has concluded, these men and woman are still haunted by the atrocities they were forced to commit. In ‘Mental Cases’, Owen shows how these people are left as ‘purgatorial shadows’ of their former selves, and that their ‘minds, the dead have ravished’. These examples show clearly, just how horrific war has been to these soldiers, and how it has completely altered the way in which they see and
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