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How does Wilfred Owen's use of "natural' imagery in

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Introduction

How does Wilfred Owen's use of "natural' imagery in "Spring Offensive" affect his presentation of the experience of war? The Spring Offensive was a battle plan in 1918 where the Germans attempted to push back the Allies force. The poet Wilfred Owen was involved in this event and his poem, "Spring Offensive", was a vivid and realistic account of what had happened. His uses of natural imagery, alliteration and other language effects have clearly portrayed the silence before the battle and the aftermath. Owen starts the poem by describing an imagery of a hill, setting the scene where every soldier is relaxing before the battle. The word "shade" (L.1) gives us a calm and comfortable feeling while the phase "carelessly slept" (L.4) suggests how the unrest the soldiers. The second stanza gives us more information about the scene, where natural imageries come into the poem. The phase Marvelling they stood, and watched the long grass swirled By the May breeze, murmurous with wasp and midge (L.7-8) ...read more.

Middle

The end stopped line makes this line stands out. Buttercups are also personified as "little brambles [that] would not yield" (L.16), giving us the impression that nature seems to react to human emotions. The "gold" warm colour has a reassuring effect, producing a positive picture. The word "little" highlights how small and helpless the soldiers are. The fourth stanza portrays the pause before the attack. Tension slowly builds up as the "breeze" in the second stanza is described as "cold gust" (L.19). The repetition of assonants in line 19, "till"; "thrills" and "little", speed up the pace, where "every body ... tighten [them] for battle" (L.20). Element of surprise is shown with the phases of "no high flags", "no alarms" and "no clamorous haste". The sun is described in Line 24, stressed with the effect of caesura and is depicted as something horrible. Stanza 5 describes the actual attack with the use of natural imageries. ...read more.

Conclusion

The idea of hell can also be seen in the metaphor of "hell's upsurge" (L.35) and "world's verge", which illustrate the non-physical world of hell underneath the battlefield. Stanza 7 describes the aftermath and survivors of the battle. Again, soldiers are expressed as "rushed in the body to enter hell" (L.40), dead. Survivors are depicted as people, With superhuman inhumanities, Long-famous glories, immemorial shames - (L. 43) The oxymoron clearly shows the truth of survivors, who are "long-famous glories" for helping the country, but is "inhuman" as they have killed so many men. The juxtaposition clearly illustrates this fact, saying they are "immemorial shames". Juxtaposition can also be seen in the title. The word "Spring" is a happy word yet "Offensive" means death and unhappiness, foretelling soldiers will die in this battle. The last line ends with a question mark, promoting guilt for survivors who killed so many in the battle. Spring Offensive has a broken rhythm and variable rhyme scheme (ABBA CCDD). Most line has 10 syllables but there are exceptions and a mixed iambic-trochaic meter. This irregularity produces tension for the reader. ?? ?? ?? ?? Adrian Tam (G) ...read more.

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