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With close reference to three poems, show how Wilfred Owen presents war with truth and compassion.

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Alice English Literature Homework Marinina Due on Friday the 30th of January 12CH. Handed in 3 days later Subject: With close reference to three poems, show how Wilfred Owen presents war with truth and compassion. In the anthology Up the line to death, the section "O Jesus, Make it Stop" is marked by the fascinatingly profound Poems of Wilfred Owen and of his friend and mentor, Siegfried Sassoon. Although they write the truth about the horrors of war and have very similar sentiments, Owen concentrates on his compassion and the message of the futility of war. To learn about the happenings and feelings of the time from Owen's perspective, it is interesting to take a closer look at the following poems; Anthem for doomed youth, Strange Meeting and Dulce et decorum est. Unlike the many writers of the early war poetry Owen doesn't make a theme of the comradeship of soldiers fighting against an enemy, but chooses to picture a vast family instead. Unnaturally fighting against each other; one large mass of suffering men on both sides. The poem Anthem for doomed youth holds the question of what burial do the soldiers get and what they actually deserve; it is a dignified song of loyalty and a lamentation, nothing short of an "Anthem". ...read more.


The two stanzas form a Sonnet. The structure gives tribute to Shakespeare (one of Owen's favourite writers) and the limit of fourteen lines is just enough, to pass on the intended messages. Owen's preference to that structure is also noticeable in the poem Dulce et decorum est. That poem has four unequal stanzas; the first and second in sonnet form, third and fourth of a looser structure. Horaces' celebrated quote as the title, "Dulce et decorum est [pro Patria Mori]" (meaning; it is sweet and fitting[to die for one's country]), is sarcastic as the themes of this poem are the burdens and hardships of war. The first stanza is a very credible description of ill equipped "like beggers under sacks", "drunk with fatigue", marching "asleep", muddy and "blood-shod" soldiers, heading back to some place safe unaware that they might still be in danger, "deaf even to the hoots". Owen uses monosyllabic lines and regular rhymes to create verisimilitude (that is also the case in the second stanza); e.g. "Knock-kneed,coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our back, And towards our distant rest began to trudge." Having attributed the adjective "softly" to "gas-shells dropping [...] behind", he creates a powerful juxtaposition that re-enforces the idea of a great lack of alertness among the men, making it an incredibly vulnerable situation. ...read more.


The line "Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues" is hint that there is a culprit, and he or she is safe at home while innocent young men die for their mistakes. After making his point with the scene, he dares the reader to repeat to his own children (or to anyone for that matter) that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. Owen is likewise tormented by the individual loses of the men having to kill one another. The main messages in his poem Strange meeting is that individual soldiers on both sides are victims of war and have more in common than the political ideology which divides them. Strange meeting is a dreams sequence written down in Ballad form. Inspired by a real life situation, when Owen spent three days trapped in a shell hole under constant fire, it relates how he falls into hell and meets the German soldier that he killed. To conclude, Wilfred Owen writes with infinite variety of the unnecessary loses and "the pity of war". He shares his views, his experience of war and his nightmares. His poems are similar to confessions. His faith his experience and his encounters have enabled him to present the war for what it is with genuine regret and compassion. ??The End.?? ...read more.

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