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Describe the conditions on the battlefield in of World War One as conveyed through the poems “Dulce et Decorum est”, “Anthem for Doomed Youth” both by Wilfred Owen and “from: Counter-Attack by Siegried Sassoon.

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Introduction

Describe the conditions on the battlefield in of World War One as conveyed through the poems "Dulce et Decorum est", "Anthem for Doomed Youth" both by Wilfred Owen and "from: Counter-Attack by Siegried Sassoon. In this essay I will look at three poems "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen, "Anthem for Doomed Youth" also by Wilfred Owen and "from: Counter-Attack" by Siegfried Sassoon. In the above poems I will try to find different conditions that soldiers in the First World War had to suffer through on the battlefield as they fought for their beloved country. The first condition I will look at is death in "Dulce et Decorum est" the words used to depict death are "guttering, choking, drowning" The effect of this is the contrast between the battlefield and water the soldiers are not near any water, but are drowning. However the effect of a gas attack would cause the soldiers to drown internally on their own blood so this is why these hard sounding words have been used. The words are very effective conveying the conditions on the battlefield as they show the true grim and horrific results of a gas attack. Death is featured further down the poem in the fourth stanza "His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;" The method used here s irony; in the quote the devil is sick of sin. ...read more.

Middle

Adding to this simile is another "bitter as the cud" this simile is compared to how a cow would regurgitate food. Comparing the soldiers to a cow shows the close resemblance between the gas effects and a farmyard animal. The condition mud is used in "from: Counter-Attack" "face downward in the sucking mud" Sucking mud sounds as if the mud is alive and is absorbing the soldiers into their graves. The effect of this is that there is no care for life on the battlefield and that when you die you are immediately forgotten as the mud sucks you down. The words have been chosen for this reason. "Wallowed" and "Bulged" are also words referring to mud "Bulged" means you swell up with water or in this case with mud, this gives another ghastly view of the battlefield conditions. "Clotted heads slept in the plastering slime" clotted heads show how close the dead soldiers are together using slept in the sentence could mean that some of the bodies are still alive and that the odd few are still twitching as you would in your sleep. "Plastering slime" is the hardening mud surrounding the soldiers I think plastering is a very good choice of wording because it gives the image of the stiffening mud but also adding slime contradicts it as slime is runny and wet so the overview of this image is an uneven sea of dead soldiers. ...read more.

Conclusion

This contrasts to the tiredness of the shells. The second being alliteration which adds to the effect of the sound by having both words starting with the same letter so the sentence it said quicker reflecting the sounds that a machine gun would make. These methods have been used to give the reader a more pragmatic view of the harsh sounds of how these weapons lead to some soldiers being killed, as they could not handle the continuous noise. "The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells" this description of the shells is showing them as being high pitched and uncontrolled. Referring to the shells as "demented choirs" Wilfred Owen has used personification. A choir is usually in harmony and is pitched just right. But if it weren't then you would get a horrible piercing sound, which is the sound that the shells are making. In conclusion I think in the three poems I have looked at "Dulce et Decorum est", "Anthem for Doomed Youth" and "from; Counter-attack did convey the conditions of the First World War well. I found it interesting the way the poems took different views to the war like "Anthem for Doomed Youth" did not just focus on the war but the effects it had on the people left at home. Compared to the other two that just showed the harsh reality of the conditions on the battlefield and First World War, and how no one at home in Britain new the truth of what their men suffered through. ...read more.

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