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Explore the way Nature is effective in Wilfred Owen's Exposure

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Wilfred Owen ...'rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy.' ...'blossoms trickling where the blackbird fusses...' Discuss ways in which Owen presents the world of nature in 'Exposure'. In your answer, explore the effects of language, imagery and verse form, and consider how this poem relates to other poems by Owen you have studied. Owen is a rebellious poet he goes against blank verse by including a rhyming scheme within his work furthermore, his poetry is distinctive as it does not express beauty only if it is used ironically. Instead his poetry is about the pity of war in a preface for one of his poetry collections he had written 'that the pity is war and the poetry is within the pity'. The response to Owens's work was mostly negative by poets that tended to focus more on issues of beauty they did not understand why Owen would use pararyhmes when, it creates a distorted musical element. Owen also went against the romantics' use of pathetic fallacy which describes there being a connection between nature and human emotions. He describes nature as being hostile and describes that war is unnatural in numerous of his poems such as: Exposure, The Sentry, The Show, Futility and Apologia Pro Poemate Meo. Exposure originates from Owens's letter he wrote home to his mother on the 4th February 1917. ...read more.


There are two interpretations of this quote in biblical terms light represents light and hope if their eyes are ice this indicates that they will forever be left in the dark and be hopeless. In the terms of nature the sun is a fundamental requirement for life and if their eyes are ice this suggests that the soldiers are already dead and can not be saved. To conclude it could be interpreted that Owen is simply suggesting that these men will never be able to recognise the truth of war and will forever be trapped in it's lies. 'The Sentry ' has a chronological account of an personal incident that occurred in a dug out where, one of Owens's sentries was hit by a shell and left blinded. The environment within this dug-out is described as being equivalent to a swamp. In this poem Owen uses nature to create a contrast between beauty and death in the line 'waterfall of slime.' This oxymoron is used to describe that even the most beautiful serene outcomes of nature have become ugly and can cause death. The 'waterfall of slime' shows that Owen may have become disillusioned about beauty and nature. In addition if the soldiers are trapped in a waterfall of slime this could indicate slow death as this would give it the same qualities as quick sand. ...read more.


Another example of the soldier's loss of innocence is 'let the boy try along this bayonet blade'. The boy has become disillusioned about sexual desires as he is caressing the bayonet blade. This gives the sense that the boy and the bayonet blade have a sensual relationship and as a results of this the blade is turning him evil. This is proven by the repetition of plosive sounds of the letter b which are used to express violence. Owen is showing that the boys who have joined the army would lose all their human qualities that were given to them by their mothers and become possessed by weaponry. To conclude Owen has used nature to effectively give an insight to the readers that war is unnatural and was not caused by nature but, by humans. As a result of their actions the humans will suffer at the mercy of nature who did not wish for war. Owen has created this in Exposure by the way the soldiers described as suffering mentally, physically and emotionally from their icy weather climate. The soldiers may be able to defeat the enemy but, they can not defeat nature as nature will always be superior. Furthermore Owen has also shown that during the war all the beauty of nature ends and everything becomes linked with death. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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