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Compare and contrast how Wilfred Owen and Isobel Thrilling portray the horror, suffering and inevitable disillusionment of war in their respective poems.

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Introduction

Craig Beach CRA Compare and contrast how Wilfred Owen and Isobel Thrilling portray the horror, suffering and inevitable disillusionment of war in their respective poems. The two poets that I am going to compare and contrast in this essay both write from a different perspective of the war. They are writing about different poems, Owen writes about the 1st world war and Thrilling the 2nd. Both poets are in a different setting when they write these poems, Thrilling is back at home whereas Owen is in the middle of the action, he is in the battlefield. This makes his poems more vivid and realistic. Owen was an adult at this stage and writes it from a soldier's point of view, however Thrilling writes from a child's point of view. The poems that I am going to write about are "Dulce et Decorum est.", "Disabled", "Children in wartime" and "Evacuee". "Dulce et Decorum est." written by Owen and "Evacuee" which is written by Thrilling are very similar in that they are both very subtle and use somber imagery. However the other two poems are much more vivid and attack the reader. The first poem I am going to write about is "Dulce et Decorum est". It has an angry and bitter tone throughout. Owen describes the soldier's as "old, weak and frail. "This shows us the extreme conditions of war. Soldiers were not though of as weak and frail so it is ironic. The war was very gruesome and horrid; we can see this from onomatopoeic words in the poem such as "sludge". There is a homeless image given in the first line through a similie, "like old beggars". The war is portrayed as a routine and this is shown through the rhyming. The words "haunting and frightening" are used to symbolise soldiers like ghosts and maybe already dead? This can also be viewed as a nightmare. ...read more.

Middle

It is ironic that next when he comes home he is thanked by a "priest". The priest indicates that he is ready to die and preparing him to die. The word thanked is bitter and sarcastic. In the last verse he says how he will spend time in institutes and "rules they consider wise" indicates he is stuck in the past, scared for life, living in rules. Owen then makes a direct attack on women. "Women's eyes passed from him to the strong men that were whole." This is as if to say he is not complete and also that woman only think about appearance. He is isolated "how cold and late is it", and he is waiting to die, he has nothing to live for anymore. Both of Owens poems question the meaning of war by using isolated endings. He shows us the consequences of war and asks the people back at home or the reader, why should these soldiers be sent out to war and suffer for everyone else. Now I am going to look at Isobel Thrilling's two poems. The first is "Children in wartime". It is written from a child's perspective and it is a child making sense of things. It is a collective voice of children together. The first line is powerful and has a bitter tone, "Sirens ripped open". Personification is used to enhance the complete contrast of the second line "the warm silk of sleep". This is a soft and innocent image. It emphasises how emotive and harsh the first line is. It also reflects how something innocent and pure is destroyed by something sinister. "We ricocheted to the shelter." This indicates the panic they were in from a collective voice. They had a feeling of protection because they were "moated with streets" because moated conjures up feelings of safety. The next line is again a contrast; "Ran with darkness" the darkness is personified here. ...read more.

Conclusion

The difference between the poets is obviously their sex. This affects their style of writing and their perspectives. Owen uses harsh images "Gargling form the froth corrupted lungs." And attacks women directly. However Thrilling protects women and evokes sympathy. "She walked unshaded". The poets were also at a different stage in life when they wrote the poems. This affects their perspective of the war because a child in Thrillings poems is trying to make sense of what they are being told by adults but the adults In Owens poems are in the thick of the action and have to take what comes at them. The poets are also in different settings because of their age and sex. Owen who is in the battlefield makes his images more harsh and real, "a leap of purple spurted from his thigh." He was there to see what was happening and his imagery is therefore more vivid. Thrillings imagery is more subtle and detailed. She can show more emotion for the suffering of the people back at home. "Dulce et decorum est" has an angry bitter tone and attracts the reader, this makes it similar to "Children in wartime". They're also similar because "Dulce et decorum est" talks about a group of soldiers and "Children in wartime" is a children's collective voice. "Disabled" and "Evacuee" are similar because they are subtle and detailed. They are also about isolation and reflect the lives of individuals. From my point of view You can not possibly say that one poet is more effective than the other. However their contrasting styles affect the reader in different ways. Owen with far more vivid poetry, and much more hostility towards women and the reader. But Thrilling with a much more emotional and sympathetic style. I think that Owen attacks the reader and questions the meaning of war directly, but Thrilling evokes sympathy for the innocence of children. Thrilling also questions he meaning of war but it is much more subtle. ...read more.

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