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Wifred Owen

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Introduction

This poem was written by Wifred Owen, who was a soldier in the First World War. He therefore gives a very vivd account of what it was like to be there, as he has had first- hand experience. The title of the poem means 'it is sweet and hounourable',,,and the phrase is continued at the end of the poem...'to die for your country.' Just before this is stated at the end of the poem, Wilfred Owen chooses to write'The Old Lie.' This tells us he does not believe this statement to be true. Calling the poem by this name is very ironic, as the poem is filled with horrible stories about what really happened, and so Wilfred Owen is saying how can all of this suffering be sweet and proper? ...read more.

Middle

The fact that the flares are'haunting' adds to the misery of the soldiers, as it could be that they are remembering past horrific incidents involving the flares that haunt them. The 'distant rest' in line four could mean the the soldiers are going to sleep for the night, but they will not be able to sleep beacuase of the conditions. or it could be referring to the end of the war when they will be able to rest properly, although they cannot see this coming - hence the distance. The word' trudge' implies that thry are walking with difficulty, and slows down the line, which indicates the slowness of the soldiers' walk. The aliteration in the fifth line emphasises what Wilfred Owen is saying. ...read more.

Conclusion

The word 'ecstasy' means an extreme feeling, so it makes the scene seem more vivid and frantic. The fact that one man is not able to put on his gas mask and chokes gives an example of one man dying in a way that could not possible be described as sweet or honourable. The last verse is a plea to the reader to renounce their opinion that dying for your country is seew and honourable. Wifred Owen is sayin ghtat if the reader was there, and saw this man dying in the back of the wagon then they would not tell the old Lie. Owen , by his graphic description of the man's death, is intending to shock the reader into believing they have been tricked by the old Lie and make them think more deeply about the values of war. ...read more.

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This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

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