• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Wilfred Owen use language and structure to explain the physical and mental effects of war on soldiers in 'Mental Cases', and 'Disabled'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Wilfred Owen use language and structure to explain the physical and mental effects of war on soldiers in 'Mental Cases', and 'Disabled'? In the poems 'Mental Cases' and 'Disabled' by Wilfred Owen, Wilfred Owen has considered the structure of his text carefully in order to explore the mental and physical effects of war on soldiers. In the poem 'Mental Cases', the poet has used the heading to describe the soldiers' actions and thoughts it would seem. He has made the title plural to show that there is more than one soldier's mind that is being explored. The title also introduces, quite obviously, the subject of the poem. The soldiers had very mixed up minds, and as a result of this, Wilfred Owen has varied the length of the stanzas. Consequently, as there is no logic in the soldiers' minds, Wilfred Owen has used this clever technique to reflect this. Equally, there is no rhyme in the poem, and I think this again is because the soldiers can not think properly. In addition to using different sentence structure in this poem, different language has also been used. ...read more.

Middle

The word "dead" has been included in one of the lines, but has been spelt with a capital D, even though it is not at the beginning of the line. It has been personified, and has been made like this so that "Dead" can be used as a word to emphasize the word, and make it powerful - as death is one of the main outcomes of war. Wilfred Owen also uses language to explore the physical and mental effects on the soldiers by using assonance. For instance, "batter" and "shatter" were the words Wilfred Owen used to describe the bones rattling, as they get hit by the gun's bullet. I noticed whilst reading the poem that there was a range of punctuation throughout the poem. Dashes and semi colons were used quite frequently. This is because Wilfred Owen wanted a lot of dramatic pauses, so that the reader could stop, think and reflect on what they have read. Following this, the line "drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish", suggests that the soldiers have lost physical control, and this line portrays the image of a wild animal that is wandering around aimlessly with its tongue hanging out. ...read more.

Conclusion

The line "misery swelters" shows that from every tiny part of the solider, misery pours out. I think the word "swelters" describes the misery as if it is "sweat", which is continuously pouring out, like the misery they are experiencing. Following that, the line "dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh", shows using a simile. As dawn breaks, it is the start of a fresh new day, and produces an orangey-red colour. In comparison, this is what the wound is like. Meanwhile, "therefore still their eyeballs shrink, tormented", means it hurt them every time to remember. They get up every morning and realize that life goes on, but unfortunately all of their old pain and mental scars still remain. "Ravished" means minds have been overtaken and controlled by death. This relates to the part of the poem where it says "why won't they come?" as this also shows a sense of "brainwashed mind" by death. Ultimately, Wilfred Owen has clearly shown that war has affected the minds of soldiers who were at war. The thoughts of their experiences will remain with them eternally, and so will their physical scars. Jade Byng 9/13/2007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Wilfred Owen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

This answer is a very well focused response to a question orientating around the exploration of physical and mental torture of innocent soldiers as shown by Wilfred Owen's use of language and structure in his poems 'Mental Cases' and 'Disabled', ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This answer is a very well focused response to a question orientating around the exploration of physical and mental torture of innocent soldiers as shown by Wilfred Owen's use of language and structure in his poems 'Mental Cases' and 'Disabled', though it could be argued that there is a very large bias towards the analysis of 'Mental Cases' and comparatively very little on 'Disabled'. This shows that, whilst the analysis on 'Mental Cases' is great and the candidate won't be penalised for it, there is a slight digression from the steer of the question and therefore the candidate loses marks not for where they over-comment on 'Mental Cases', but where they do not comment on 'Disabled'. It is important that a balance is maintained, particularly in essays like this, which as for two aspects of analysis from two different poems.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis shown starts of very well, and makes a good point commenting on the poetic devices Owen uses in 'Mental Cases'. Later on, there is only a brief mention of 'Disabled' and then the candidate reverts back to being focused on 'Mental Cases'. This is by no means bad, but it does not satisfy the question, which required a balanced answer.
The depth of analysis shown is entirely indicative of a strong B grade candidate for GCSE. A few moments could see a better use of terminology such as "syllabic rhythm" and "rhyme scheme" when referring to how the stanza lengths are disjointed and very irregular. The candidate does very well though, to realise that this is representative of the fragmentation of psychosis - something the soldiers were subjected to.
The language analysis of 'Mental Cases' is a very strong A grade response on it's own, but it is let down by a lesser focus on the structure of both poems and the language analysis of 'Disabled'. I like would've liked to have also seen more depth at certain points, for instance, what is the real effect of assonance with "batter" and "shatter". The internal rhyme draws the attention immediately to it, and in a poem full of irregular, disjointed rhythm and rhyme, it sticks out prominently and the gruesome imagery of "flying muscles" blown apart from their bodies also stays with the reader.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is average. There is a good use of the English language to explain the candidate's answer and there are no moments where the clarity of written expression is compromised by a poor misuse of English.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 03/04/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Wilfred Owen essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Wilfred Owen Poetry Comparison.

    4 star(s)

    "What passing bells for those who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons." Owen's distinct juxtaposition of the loud noises of war, with the quiet sombre feel of a funeral is one of the main

  2. Peer reviewed

    An analysis of the poetry of Wilfred Owen with specific reference to language used.

    5 star(s)

    Owen criticises propaganda as it made people believe the wrong things. He wanted to get through to people that the war experience was not full of glory and recognition as they all thought. In the poem 'Dulce et Decorum est,' he criticises propaganda as there is nothing sweet and honourable about dying for your country.

  1. How Wilfred Owen in the poem "Disabled" analyses the theme of war

    But he ones who were getting close to him were only nurses; he couldn't feel any warmth again. Even though the second stanza starts with happiness, showing the bustle of town life, there is again that sad atmosphere being created through the description of things that the man is not able to have anymore.

  2. How does Owen use language to explore the harsh realities of war in Exposure?

    The constant terror of the soldiers is also reflected in the constant intensity of the poem. There is significance in the word "Northwards" in that it is a continuation from the afore mentioned "iced east winds". Owen creates this image to allow the reader to feel as if they are

  1. Choose two poems from your selection of First World War Poetry, which have made ...

    The way that no one cared, and no one cared because they were used to this sight, they were used to seeing men, dead. 'And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;' This sentence shows how this man that has died, did not die peacefully, he died in pain.

  2. Wilfred Owen - "The old Lie"

    war allows him to actually glorify a battle that could not have gone worse for the British. Tennyson demonstrates through this poem that he very much respects soldiers that have fought in battle. In "The Charge of the Light Brigade" he immortalises all the soldiers who died but made sure

  1. Through His Poetry Wilfred Owen Wished to Convey, to the General Public, the Pity ...

    The word "gas" is onomatopoeic and the sound of the word brings alarm. It is also a real word that would have been used in that situation. The word "ecstasy" means the men are in an extreme state of delusion.

  2. Wilfred Owens World War poetry Dulce et Decurum est and Mental Cases

    The image created is of very old, wrinkled women slowly stumbling through the thick mud. It highlights the revolting, phlegm filled cough that the soldiers have as they are so critically ill. By using 'cursed', the image created is that the soldiers were struggling, desperately unhappy and exhausted.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work