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Through his poetry Wilfred Owen wished to convey, to the general public, the PITY of war. In a detailed examination of three poems, with references to others, show the different ways in which he achieved this.

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Introduction

Through his poetry Wilfred Owen wished to convey, to the general public, the PITY of war. In a detailed examination of three poems, with references to others, show the different ways in which he achieved this Wilfred Owen was born in Oswestry, 18th March 1893. He was working in France when the war began, tutoring a prominent French family. When the war started he began serving in the Manchester Regiment at Milford Camp as a Lieutenant. He fought on the Western Front for six months in 1917, and was then diagnosed with War Neurosis (shell shock). Because of this he was sent to Craiglockhart Hospital for treatment. In his stay at Craiglockhart Hospital Wilfred Owen met Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon was also a poet, and the two became good friends. The two friends compared and edited their poems, and Sassoon introduced Wilfred Owen to some publishers. Whilst he was in Craiglockhart he wrote such poems as "Dulce et Decorem Est" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth." He used his poems as a cathartic experience to help him forget and overcome his experiences on the battlefield. Through a detailed examination of the poems Dulce et Decorem Est, Disabled and Anthem for Doomed Youth with reference to other poems by Wilfred Owen, it can be seen that, although he uses different political forms, styles, and devices, and he addresses his readers from different authorial stances, evoking feelings from great anger and bitterness to terrible sadness; the end result is always the same: he shows the pity of war. Dulce et Decorem Est was written by Wilfred Owen whilst he was having treatment at Craiglockhart, it is one of his most famous poems. Stanza one sets the scene. Owen takes his time before coming to the main point. At fist he describes the hellish landscape, which is lit only by "haunting flares", which would make a fantastically eerie setting. ...read more.

Middle

Disabled slowly makes the reader feel pity for the character in question. The rhyme scheme plays a large part in this poem. The first stanza introduces the main character. He has been reduced to a torso "Legless, sewn short at elbow" and it seems he has no prospects in life. The character is never given a name, which adds to his feelings of worthlessness, and meaningless of life. "waiting for dark" in the first line, exaggerates his loneliness. The word dark, however, is often associated with death. He could be waiting to be put to bed, to go to sleep, but it could also mean he is waiting for death, so he can end his pain. The character is said to "shiver", the first thought is that he is cold, but Owen could also be saying he is shivering with fear, fear of death or fear of life? He has a "ghastly suit of grey" which makes him consider the nurses are trying to forget him, ghastly may possibly mean ghostly, he may feel as though he is a ghost. Owen then writes "Legless, sewn short at elbow" in very quick parts, this gets the severity across to the reader. It is as though Owen does not want to ponder on this thought, and there is a reference to boys playing in the park, this adds to his comparative disability. As a child he would have played in the park, the reader is made to feel more pity for the man who's childhood is now gone. Hymns are now mentioned "voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn" this directs the attention to church, churches are places where the dead go to rest. The last line is longer, using lengthy words, this slows down the pace, and adds feeling to the words. The second stanza emphasizes his disability and what he used to be able to do, and what he could have done with his life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Religious images and allusions dominate the second stanza. Owen is telling us to forget about altar boys and candle bearers, look in their eyes to learn the truth of war. In line 12 "pallor"-"pall" is almost an example of Owens pararhyme, a poetic device that creates an impression of solemnity. "Flowers" line 13, suggests beauty but also sadness, again a word that runs counter to the chaos of the first stanza. In the last line dusk is falling, and Owen speaks of finality. The dusk is slow, but that is how time passes for those who mourn. The first line is a strong statement or question "What passing bells for these who die as cattle" the last line is his answer "And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds". Wilfred Owen is trying to tell the public that war is not a holy way to die, that men are slaughtered, there is no glory involved. This poem gets across the madness of war, and that it must not be continued. Owen expresses feelings of bitter hatred for the war, and he lets those feelings out in Dulce et Decorem est. He is angry that war is allowed to be continued, that the public are lied to, and the conditions the soldiers have to cope with. He was in the war himself, he knew what he was talking about. Owen has a very strong use of imagery, which I think helps get across his message. Although sometimes I feel he can be a bit too bitter, and lose the plot slightly, his poetry is extremely effective. He is asking his reader just to take some time to think about the war, ignore the propaganda and see what is really happening. All of this put together conveys the pity of war, by using graphic imagery, metaphors and similes, and often use of onomatopoeia. Elizabeth Coop 10R page 1 ...read more.

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