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"The first world war was perceived to be a futile waste of life." Consider this statement in light of the poetry you have studied.

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Introduction

"The first world war was perceived to be a futile waste of life." Consider this statement in light of the poetry you have studied. "The old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori," these words were once uttered by the poet and soldier Wilfred Owen, this line needs to be remembered as the poem is based on the idea of it as 'the old lie' mocking the established belief of nationalism and duty to your country, conveyed as patriotic propaganda to the people back at home .How is it sweet and fitting to die for your country if nobody knows about your death? The war was only meant to last till Christmas however it dragged on for four futile years. Studying the poem "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen, "In An Underground Dressing Station" by Siegfried Sassoon and "Clearing Station" by Wilhelm Klemm it is definitely clear that the Great War was a waste of life, time and effort. Though these poems were written by poets from opposing sides these three men illustrated the fact that war only caused the destruction of innocent lives. Klemm and Owen used powerful imagery to show the reader that the war only degraded strong men and turned them into victims of trench warfare, gas attacks and severe bullet wounds. Sassoon also conveys the image of death, however he writes more simplistically yet this works just as effectively as the gory details in both Wilfred Owen and Wilhelm Klemm's poetry. ...read more.

Middle

Owen describes how the dead soldiers are "children ardent for some desperate glory" He is trying to send the reality of war back home, Klemm calls the dying men in the church "wasted faces" however both poets are being ironic as they volunteered to go to war themselves. Klemm questions war he needs an answer and in his poem he expresses his anger towards God, He graphically describes men waiting to die, they are unhappy, degraded men who have now come to understand the futility of war, these three poems make the reality of war unbearable to even comprehend, it is tragic and devastating that people can do this to each other then die lonely and miserably without any comfort. Sassoon even goes as far as to describe a dying soldier as a burden, his name is not significant, all the reader needs to know is that he is a wounded soldier and he is going to die, there is a period of time passing in Sassoon's poem, which makes it have an unusual rhyme scheme, it is an indication of how long the soldier has been in the hospital for, he has gone in, they tried to treat him however he was not going to live. This poem though short and simplistic is more effective then Klemm and Owen's poems because it shows the reality better ,the soldier goes to war he has been wounded terribly and he is going to die, it is shocking to think that , that this is what his life is, he is going to die there is nothing more to tell. ...read more.

Conclusion

The bloodshed is on going and the year is only 1914, he describes how it thunders grimly on, this creates a negative perception, the war appears to never end it carries on day and night, more men will die. Sassoon's interpretation of war is mild compared to those of Klemm and Owen, his language is not as graphic, yet it still carries the same message, war is barbaric and is a horrific thing to engage in. The title is rather simplistic as is the poem; it is a negative poem however the language is soft compared to the other poems. Death has become peaceful, it is considered as an escape. The soldier is described as a burden, his individuality has been taken, he is no longer a brave strong man, but a helpless burden, just another life that war has claimed. Sassoon does not give a vivid description of what is going on; instead he leaves it up to the reader's imagination. The reality of this poem is very sad, the only thing that the doctor can do is keep the boy comfy, and as reader it is made clear that this particular soldier is very young because he is referred to as a lad. In some way's this piece of writing is more effective than the other poem's because it is short, blunt and hard hitting no extravagant metaphors and similes are used to convey the futility of war and the suffering of the soldiers. Carla Wells ...read more.

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