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Discuss Wilfred Owen’s portrayal of the First World War. Comment upon his use of language and attitudes towards the war

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Introduction

Discuss Wilfred Owen's portrayal of the First World War. Comment upon his use of language and attitudes towards the war In this piece of writing I'm going to discuss Wilfred Owen's portrayal of the First World War, focusing in on his use of language and his attitudes towards the war. I think to be able to draw a stronger conclusion at the end of the essay, it's only right I briefly summarise the background of Wilfred Owen. Owen was born in Shropshire in 1893. His education begun at the Birkenhead institute and culminated at the technical school in Shrewsbury. Already showing a keen interest in arts, Owen's earliest experiments in poetry began at the age of 17. During the years of 1914 and 1915 Owen became increasingly aware of the magnitude of the war and he returned to England in September 1915 to enlist in the artists' rifles a month later. After almost two years of fighting in the war, Owen was diagnosed with shell shock and was sent to the CraigLockhart war hospital. ...read more.

Middle

But ours have long died out." However what Owen usually ties in with death is religion. He uses a lot of religious words, for instance in 'inspection', just the title of that poem can be seen as a metaphor of judgement in heaven as he makes reference to God's inspection at the end of the poem. 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' has quite a bit of religious imagery. Like where it says, "No mockeries for them from prayers or bells." Also words such as choirs, orisons - which means prayers, and pall which is a funeral cloth all give that sense of religion. It would seem that religion plays a pivotal role in Owen's poems. Owen's poetry is very realistic, he uses harsh imagery show the reader just how real the whole thing is. For instance in 'The Chances' he describes how a soldier died by saying, "He was blown to chops." This gives us the image of perhaps animals or more specifically lambs that are being led to slaughter, which is how he feels the young soldiers are who have been forced to fight in this war. ...read more.

Conclusion

He also describes the weapons that were used to kill each other. A good example of this can be seen in Anthem, where Owen writes, " Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle." He describes the conditions of the war and in 'Exposure' uses the weather, almost as a character in the poem. Overall Owen is an Anti-war poet who cannot make any sense out the war. His attitude to the war is that we are just sending out our young to be slaughtered. Poems such as 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and Disabled all show this. He uses his poetry to portray this fact, and to let people know that the Generals who are not fighting but giving out orders that say it's a noble thing to die for your country are talking rubbish. Owen uses his poetry to express to the reader that the first world war was just a waste of young lives and that people were being slaughtered for reasons that most of them fighting and dying didn't really understand anyway. ?? ?? ?? ?? Paul Caruana ...read more.

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