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Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" was written during his World War I experience. Owen, an officer in the British Army, deeply opposed the intervention of one nation into another.

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Introduction

Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" was written during his World War I experience. Owen, an officer in the British Army, deeply opposed the intervention of one nation into another. His poem explains how the British press and public comforted themselves with the fact that, terrible that is was, all the young men dying in the war were dieing noble, heroic deaths. The reality was quite different: They were dieing obscene and terrible deaths. Owen wanted to throw the war in the face of the reader to illustrate how vile and inhumane was really is. He explains in his poem that people will encourage you to fight for your country, but, in reality, fighting for your country is simply sentencing yourself to an unnecessary death. The breaks throughout the poem indicate the clear opposition that Owen strikes up. The title of the poem means "Sweet and Fitting it is," and then Owen continues his poem by ending that the title is, in fact, a lie. Aligned with powerful imagery and vast irony, the author was eventually killed in the very war he opposed. Before his death, he was thought to be one of the best poets of the Twentieth century. War is not worth it, as Owen proves with the lie perpetuated across the world: Sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country. ...read more.

Middle

This allows them to see the cruel reality that the war was for the soldiers. I believe Owen's use of these images are aimed at discouraging the mere thought of war. In the second stanza Owen is describing a gas attack on the soldiers as they are trudging back to camp. Owen describes the soldiers fumbling to get their mask fastened, all but one, a lone soldier. He is struggling to get his mask on but doesn't get it fastened quick enough and suffers from the full effects of deadly gas: Gas! Gas! Quick boys!-An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime... Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. The way Owen describes a comrade watching as a lone soldier is struggling to get his mask fastened awakens the minds of the readers to see the psychological effect that this had on the soldiers. Making the reader see that war is cruel and unjust. In the third stanza Owen is describing the dead soldier. This allows the reader to view war in its full affect: In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that this poet has experienced the war at first hand really makes you think how real this poem is. The reality comes to mind of a lifeless body being flung in a wagon; the fact that this man has nightmares about a death he witnessed contributes to the theme and mood alike. Flashbacks were a huge problem for ex-service men and really shows that the poet is dealing with the sad aspects of war, before and after. The horrible descriptions of post-war effects are disturbing. Take these few lines and realise the non-glorious side to war: "And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin: If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues". These lines are like having your heart ripped out of you as punishment for all the things you take for granted. This poem really shows what men in history have sacrificed to enable us to live the way we do. Phrases such as "the froth corrupted lungs" really makes you think you're lucky you're able to breathe, let alone do anything else. This poem to me represents the fragility of life, basically how feeble we are. Every single word written on these pages and in Dulce Est Decorum Est shows how war is a horrific thing. ...read more.

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