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Explore some of the ways in which Wilfred Owen presents the Natural world in his poems.

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Introduction

PLAN: -Intro -Natural world as beautiful/protective/restorative. -Beautiful -Protective -Restorative -Transitional Paragraph -Natural world as Insurgent, cowardly and cruel. -Conclusion INTRO: Owen?s presentation of nature is ambiguous. Through his poems he acknowledges the beauty and purity of nature on one hand, while on the other it is presented as cruel and subversive when associated with war. These two very different sides of nature are best portrayed in Exposure in 1917, Futility and Spring Offensive in 1918. To begin, Owen describes the natural world as beautiful, restorative and protective. His references to beauty of nature and the recurring theme of the sun clearly shows how Owen is somewhat in awe of nature. In the 3 first stanzas of Spring Offensive, Owen describes nature with such charm that the soldiers waiting to go into action are ?marveling? at the grass, at nature?s purity. They can hardly believe such beauty exists amongst pain and suffering. The ?May breeze? calms them as they feel the pleasing ??summer oozed into their veins like an injected drug?. In this imagery we feel that this beauty is like a drug to them, they are under such pressure that they require anesthetic. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore not helping them through it, which makes nature cruel and cowardly because they have not decided such a fate for themselves. Spring Offensive follows the revolt of nature as it goes from a benevolent and somewhat sheltering force to a more aggressive force that 'burns with fury against them'. Nature is so disgusted at the unnaturalness of the soldiers action that it initially seeks to stop them- everything from the sky and its 'cold gust thrill' to the smallest buttercup that once 'blessed with gold' now is 'set sudden cups in thousands for their blood'. This all encompassing metaphor of nature possibly representing god creates an intense atmosphere. The syntax of the poem also reflects motif and nature, the regular rhyme scheme together with the use of perfect rhyme gives it an almost liquid flow. Nature also appears to be insurgent in Futility. At the end of the poem as the sun refuses to use its power help the man, the speaker realizes how useless, pointless and hopeless the sun is and how it does not have enough will to wake his friend. ...read more.

Conclusion

The stillness of slowly freezing to death becomes a counterpoint to the progressive verbs in the poem: ?watching,? ?twitching,? ?massing,? ?shivering,? ?wandering,? ?fingering,? ?shrivelling,? ?puckering,? and, finally, ?dying.? As in other Owen poems such as ?Greater Love? and ?Arms and the Boy,? the occasional attractive word such as ?nonchalance? is used ironically to depict the carelessness of the wind as it tosses snowflakes around and ?knives? the soldiers. Unlike English poets Sir Philip Sidney or Percy Bysshe Shelley, Owen does not see poets as teachers or ?unacknowledged legislators.? He says, ?all a poet can do today is warn; that is why the true Poets must be truthful.? Owen strives for the aching cold of truthfulness in ?Exposure? as the poem exposes the reader to the cold indifference of nature and nature?s God. Conclusion: ?Be bullied, be outraged, be killed, but do not kill.? This quote once written by Wilfred Owen could relate to the way he despises nature?s attitude. To my opinion the poet loves nature greatly, he believes it is beautiful and pure. Yet the war has highly disgusted nature who subsequently decides to rebel against it using violence and cruelty resulting in the dehumanization of the soldiers. ( Owen states it is inhuman of nature to do so against the poor men who have in no way chosen this horrific destiny.) ...read more.

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