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The poem that I have chosen to analyse is "Exposure" by Wilfred Owen.

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Introduction

Exposure The poem that I have chosen to analyse is "Exposure" by Wilfred Owen. Wilfred Owen is one of the worlds Britain's poets of the Great War of 1912 - 1918, he unlike many others told through his poems what the war was really like, from first hand experience, he protests against the war. A year after war broke out, he joined the "Artists' Rifles" and later the Manchester Regiment. He quickly became an officer and felt responsible for the deaths of hundreds of young men. He felt deeply annoyed that the British public saw the war as glorious and honourable. He wanted to show them the reality of war and he did this through his descriptive poems. He was awarded the Military Cross in October for bravery at Amiens. However, on the 4th of November he was killed whilst attempting to lead his men across the Sambre canal at Ors. The news of his death reached his parents on the 11th of November 1918: Armistice Day. He is an English poet noted for his anger at the cruelty and waste of war and his pity for its victims. ...read more.

Middle

The weather is possibly the men's main enemy according to Owen, so it is featured a lot in the poem using powerful imagery. The real cause of their suffering seems to be that they are lying out in the open under freezing conditions. An effective simile form verse 2 for describing how the weather can play tricks on the men is: "mad gusts tugging on the wire, like twitching agonies of men among its brambles." It forms the idea of men caught in the barbed wire; the simile allows the readers to picture the movement of the wire in their heads. The use of the word "brambles", as the spikes of the wire is an effective contrast, as brambles are prickly shrubs. To show again the terrible conditions that the men have to live with, Owen used the oxymoron: "black with snow," As snow is normally white, this is an oxymoron. The snow will be black because the trenches were extremely muddy and the snow will be restricting the men's views. The oxymoron also creates the imagery of the sky being dark and gloomy. The poet will have used the snow to represent the men. ...read more.

Conclusion

Owen believes that when the men return home, they would not be welcomed: "Shutters and doors, all closed: on us the doors are closed," Nothing will every be the same again. He feels that only part of him will return home, he will only resemble the man he used to be: "Slowly our ghosts drag home" Their houses have be deserted, leaving only little animals: "crickets jingle...innocent mice rejoice: The house is theirs." They seem expected to stay where they are, stuck in an unforgiving world. The end of the poem suggests that soon they are all going to die. This is a very powerful, thought provoking poem, which shows the horrifying truth about the death and suffering of the war. We know it is authentic as the poet lived what he wrote about. Wilfred Owen was a talented poet who used a lot of powerful and effective imagery to convey the theme of the poem. Owen's prominent style and technique helped to promote the purpose of this poem. He used a lot of figures of speech, contrasts and daring techniques, for example para-rhymes. The message, which he manages to get across clearly in this poem, is that, war is wrong, and the only real enemies we have are ourselves. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

*** 3 STARS -4 STARS if the confusion between alliteration and assonance is corrected.

This is a very well written and perceptive essay which offers a close exploration of the poem. It shows a real understanding and engagement with the poem and uses PEE (Point, Evidence, Explain) effectively throughout. Some confusion over alliteration and assonance makes this only a 3 star essay rather than a 4 star essay.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 30/07/2013

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