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How is War Presented in Three WW1 Poems of Your Choice? Dulce Et Decorum Est, Fall In andThe Soldier

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Introduction

'How is War Presented in Three WW1 Poems of Your Choice?' In the year 1914, a global military conflict broke out, mostly taking place in Europe. The Great War left millions of soldiers, from both sides of the opposition, dead, or severely wounded. Moreover, it drastically re-shaped the modern world as a result of innovative ideas and developments. There are numerous views of war; the majority greatly vary from each other. Such contrasts, as it were, can be seen in the form of poems written at the time. Hence, from analysing the work of poets, it could be considered that the attitudes of war are presented in ways which differ, or perhaps, several of the poems may have established similar interpretations. Furthermore, most of the poets aimed to illustrate the ideas of their poem through the use of poetic techniques, allowing the reader to comprehend the various aspects of the poem with greater ease. Three poems of World War One highlight several of the different factors of war, each exploring the topic in their own way. 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' is about the horrific reality and atmosphere of war; it describes the trauma of experiencing a gas attack. 'Fall In' is a recruitment poem, which attempts to convince men to enlist war as a means of conveying elements of shame and guilt. 'The Soldier' is a poem laced with sentimentality and nationalism; a far cry from the themes of other works during the time. In the poem 'Dulce Et Decorum Est,' the poet, Wilfred Owen, evidently portrays a negative general attitude to war, which can be detected even from the moment the poem commences. This can be seen when he expresses that the soldiers were: 'Deaf even to the hoots of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.' Five Nines were 5.9" artillery shells used to fire gas; this particular line is one of two versions, and is in fact, the original. ...read more.

Middle

As a result, with all this in mind, it is possible to see how three poems can express such varying views of day-to-day life in the trenches, or if the trenches are referred to at all. The poem 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' aims to depict the reality of war, and presents it as an appalling and incompetent thing. One way of doing so is by expressing the repercussions of the gas attack in the poem, as a means of using figurative language and imagery to express the seemingly impending injuries which are caused by the attack: 'His face hanging like a devil's sick of sin' Thus, the writer describes in graphic detail how the physical look of the soldier had changed, obviously attempting to shock the reader and get through to them how war is such a devastating business. The image that is portrayed is that the soldier's face had dropped and was now exceedingly unsightly. 'Like a devil's sick of sin' is a simile that highlights this point. This comparison implies that his face was corrupted and baneful. The image created in the reader's mind is that the face has suddenly been transformed from a young, youthful face to a very old and aged face. Now the face is hideously ugly and revolting; it is feasible to imagine the face appearing twisted and stretched, covered in gruesome boils and markings. The simile therefore implants a clear picture in the reader's mind, by providing them with something familiar which they are able to relate to. Conversely, 'Fall In' portrays any corollaries of war in a manner which links to recruitment- causing one to laden with guilt if they do not enlist: 'Is it naught to you if your country fall and Right is smashed by Wrong?' Although the idea opposes that of Owen's, Begbie is using a similar technique to put forth his views, which is through imagery. Begbie is painting a picture, in the heads' of those reading his poem, of two 'sides.' ...read more.

Conclusion

He was never to realise exactly how horrific war was, for he met his death before having the opportunity to defend the country he so greatly adored. Hence, the poem is not an accurate source which clarifies what World War One was like, although it is a fine example of the fierce patriotism to one's country. From all of this, it is possible to see the ways in which the poems differ when presenting the Great War. However, I would say that the war is presented most genuinely in 'Dulce Et Decorum Est.' At no point in the poem does Wilfred Owen make use of euphemisms, and the author is very clear about the horror of war. Through the use of graphic imagery and vivid descriptions, Owen is able to give the reader the exact feeling that he yearned for. In addition, the tone of the poem is serious yet heartfelt, and this causes the words to be more credible. Precise diction emphasises his point, portraying that war is abysmal and devastating. Consequently, this poem conveys a strong meaning and persuasive argument, which I deem to be very effective. As for the other poems, I think that 'Fall In' is a poem which is written well, and devised in a clever way. However, it provides the reader with information which is inaccurate and false; the entire poem appears to be pretence, in my opinion. 'The Soldier' presents war in such a beautiful way, and it is a fiercely patriotic and light take on World War One. It would have strongly appealed to the public as they coped with loss during the commencement of war, yet I would say that its sentimentality romanticizes the war and masks the true horrors England was experiencing at the time. Thus, 'Dulce Et Decorum Est,' is, in my mind, the most effective of the three at showing what war was like. The language Owen uses makes us understand both the public's blinded view of war, yet also opens up a window through which we can see reality. ...read more.

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