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Compare Owen’s use of language in “Dulce et Decorum est” and “Futility”.

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Compare Owen's use of language in "Dulce et Decorum est" and "Futility". Both poems are different approaches of war describing the horrors of it in different ways. One is dealing with the moment of death while the other one is about the philosophical ideas after a death opposed to showing the death. The sun is the central issue in the first line of Futility. It says, "Move him into the sun," which is not said as a shouted command but said very gently. Owen is clinging onto the hope of waking the man up but knows in his mind that the man is dead. He does this because he has just been shocked by the death and can't accept the death and is willing to try any thing to wake the dead man. In the whole of the first verse, Owen hints to us that the dead man used to be a farmer. He talks of how the sun woke him every morning and as if it whispered tasks to be done. ...read more.


It is used as a description of the way they walked through the thick and sticky mud. To describe how tired they are the writer uses, "drunk with fatigue" which they are full of fatigue or very, very tired. Up to here the poem was very slow paced and was struggling to gather any speed. It starts at about the same pace as Futility. And the people in Dulce et Decorum est show the same amount determination as the people in Futility. Owen quickened the pace of the poem dramatically, when, "Gas! Gas!" was shouted. There is a sudden contrast by the activity of the gas attack. It injected a sudden burst of activity. This activity involved yelling and other horrors like a green light as though it is a nightmare. The word, "ecstasy" is then used to describe the fumbling. He means that happiness will come to whoever gets their gas masks out in time. Owen describes the gas as like water. He uses the words, "Drowning, floundering, green sea, guttering and choking," to achieve this. ...read more.


Even though they know the sun can't help them they are determined it will. Futility is about not accepting death and hanging on to hope that he will come back to life. The voice of the poet is soft but still commanding. I think there is a certain point in the poem where the poet loses hope in the sun and anger then settles in which is why in the end he questions why everybody was created if we were just going to die in the end. I think there is also a huge sense of shock and worry. This shock and worry is based around the casualty in both poems. In Futility the worry starts from the beginning of the poem when they are wondering what to do. Shock comes in later on when they realise that the sun can't help the casualty and no one else can either. In Dulce et Decorum est the worry starts from when the Gas comes into it. The shock comes in when the man is dying and all they can do is stare. That is why I don't think they helped him. I think both poems are very different but similar in their own ways only when you look closely. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay is a little superficial and repetitive at times. It is important to make very precise links when comparing two poems either by looking at very specific similarities or differences. The explanations in this essay are not in depth enough and as a result a full knowledge and understanding of the poetry fails to be demonstrated.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 09/07/2013

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