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From your reading of Dulce et decorum est and the sentry, what do you think Wilfred Owen's attitude to war was?

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Introduction

English Coursework Wilfred Owen was born in Shropshire on 8th March 1893. He was encouraged to write poetry from an early age by his mother. Owen volunteered for the army in 1914 when the First World War started. After training he became an officer in Manchester Regiment in 1916. Owen was fled back to Britain after a huge burst near him leaving him shell-shocked. With his encouragement, Owen wrote about the pitiful reality of trench welfare and the awful suffering of individual soldiers that had such a profound effect on him. A number of Owens poems where published during his life time, but he was greatly recognised as one of the most effective and moving witnesses of world war one. Owen died aged 25, one week before Armistice in 1918. Title: From your reading of Dulce et decorum est and the sentry, what do you think Wilfred Owen's attitude to war was? In class we read two poems wrote by two soldiers in world war one. These poems are the most admired and remembered, they told us about the fake heroes and why they resented them in there poem. The two poets we looked at where Dulce et Decorum Est' and The sentry' by Wilfred Owen. In the first stanza of the poem 'Dulce et Decorum est, the poet starts by creating an image in your head of how the people are feeling and setting the scene slightly. ...read more.

Middle

Owen throughout this stanza addresses the stay at home war enthusiast who thought the war was a good thing. They are the 'you' of the poem. The gassed man was 'flung' into the wagon. This shows us that the soldiers where in a rush to quickly move the body. It also shows the little respect they were treated with after they had given their life. Using the word 'flung' also suggests that they where thrown carelessly on to the wagon like rubbish. The writer then describes in graphic detail how the physical appearance of the soldier had changed, obviously trying to shock the reader and show how the war was such a disgusting experience. 'Watch the white eyes writhing in his face' uses alliteration to emphasise how devastating the scene was. 'Writhing is normally associated with snakes and this is also a connotation. Following this, the image that is showed is that the soldier's face had dropped and now extremely repulsive. 'His face hanging like a devil's sick of sin,' is a simile this comparison implies that his face was corrupted and evil. The rest of the description is still just as graphic and frightening to the reader. The blood is described as 'at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs'. This can be a real disturbing thought it describes in detail exactly how the man was being tortured. ...read more.

Conclusion

He also says 'Let dead hark back for one word only' which implies that he hates going back to revisit the past but one word can just trigger al of the bad memories. In the final line Owen thinks he hears the sentry saying 'I see your lights' this could have two interpretations to it. First it could be that the sentry could now see light that links to when Owen held the candle to his eyes. This would mean that he could see again. Or secondly it could be that the sentry is having a near death experience. Overall from reading and analysing the two poems I got the impression that Owens attitude to war was negative, very angry and also that he felt that the war was pointless and a waste of life. Owen also felt that the level of death and suffering was unnecessary. War had shown to have a deep psychological effect and that it haunts him. Owen gave me the impression that he was angry with the people at home who glorified the war with no experience of it and bitter at the way war is presented. Owen wants to tell the truth about the suffering endured by ordinary men. Owen also wants the readers to understand the truth about what happened in the war and to feel sympathetic towards the soldiers. Owen really wants to shock people out of complacency and wanted people like Jessie Pope to feel guilty about the things they where saying. Furthermore to this Owen creates the impression that he is really against war. ...read more.

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