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“War photographer”(by Carol Ann Duffy) and “Dulce et decorum est” (by Wilfred Owen)

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By Karma.R. 10S "War photographer"(by Carol Ann Duffy) and "Dulce et decorum est" (by Wilfred Owen) are both war poems based on the authors experiences and opinions during the world war. They convey very strong opinions about war used as propaganda through a powerful use of imagery. "War photographer" and "Dulce et decorum est" deals with issues concerning with what war really is rather than the image or the lie we the public see. Both poems describe with great feeling the horrors of war and the real truth behind it. "War photographer" is about a photographer who lives in two worlds, modern war zones and rural England. As he develops a spool of film, the face of a war victim emerges, and the reality of war and the experiences flood back to memory. The speaker notes that the pictures will be reduced to an illustration in the Sunday papers, removing the real agony of the photograph's subject. Finally, the photographer looks down on uncaring England from an aeroplane taking him to his next assignment. "Dulce et decorum est" is about a soldiers experiences during a war. He witnesses the chaos, carnage and anguish during a war. ...read more.


This gives a very motive and realistic tone contributing to the poem's intention to make the reader understand the seriousness of war. The clashing of images between safety and danger shown here contrasts two settings to change our own perspective of war. Duffy again uses conflicting images later on in her poem, but this time it is between reality and the imaginary. Duffy increases the pace of the poem with an abrupt sentence: "Something is happening". She then portrays what is happening, "A stranger's features faintly........A half-formed ghost. Duffy uses images of unreal beings (i.e. the ghost) to describe the photos developing displaying an eerie tone. Duffy then immediately contrasts this statement, "Remembering the cries of this man's wife". The contrast made here brings the photographer back to reality. This shows the intensity of suffering both emotional and physical embraced by people involved in the war. The cries of a man's wife show that suffering is not only inflicted on the individual but his family as well. The photographer sees this and sympathizes making this personal. The photographer in this poem has experienced the reality of war. The photographer has seen the suffering and pain shielded from the public. ...read more.


He is very clear about the horror of war. Owen exposes the real truth of war that it is not all filled with glory and honour but pain and sorrow. To end his poem he says "The old lie: Dulce et decorum est patria mori," which is Latin for "It is sweet and fitting thing to die for one's country". This is his message. All the images discussed of this poem reveal the true horrendous aspects of war to change the reader's perspective. The powerful images he has created of suffering and blood shed has given the message that war is something to prevent and regret, and not something to be proud of. Owen's description of war gives a very powerful and negative impression on its readers. He is trying to show the real truth about war and not what is shielded from the public, which is similar to what Duffy illustrates in her poem. Duffy displays a negative tone throughout her poem (like "Dulce et decorum est"). In conclusion I think both poems have clear messages which are conveyed by the poets use of powerful imagery. Owen and Duffy have proven that they can touch their readers and make them aware of something they never knew before. War is not something to be proud and have honor over, but avoided and regretted. Suffering, pain and death is no price to pay for one's own country. ...read more.

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