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How Far do Owen(TM)s Poems Break with the Jingoistic Literary Tradition Established by Various Poets during World War 1?

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Introduction

How Far do Owen's Poems Break with the Jingoistic Literary Tradition Established by Various Poets during World War 1? Although Wilfred Owen and the jingoists deal with the same subject of war in their poems, their attitudes towards the topic differ dramatically and this is shown through the style and content in which the various poets have written. The Jingoists had a chauvinistic and positive attitude towards the war. They have illustrated their aggressive patriotism through their poems, which deliver the clear and concise message: that war is morally correct and men who don't sign up to fight are inferior. These sorts of messages were used to try and recruit members of the public and to illustrate the type of men who were ideals and chivalry in terms of war according to what the Jingoists believed. Ultimately the Jingoists poems were used to persuade the general public to believe that war was the way forward. Their poems create an inspirational mood, one that indicates patriotism and optimism. On the other hand, Owen had a totally opposite opinion of war. He was strongly against war as he could not see what it achieved, only the suffering it caused. The ideas that he expresses throughout his poems concerning the war and fighting are all negative with their angry and bitter mood. Unlike many of the Jingoists who used their poems to try and recruit members of the public, Owen's poems give a sort of warning that war is nothing like it is portrayed to be and that it is actually a very grim and dangerous experience. Comparing Owen's poems with the Jingoists' poems, it is apparent that Owen's poems break with the Jingoistic literary tradition through the content and style in which the poems are written. The content of the poems, when compared shows that Owen often has a completely opposing view to the Jingoist poets regarding how war is portrayed. ...read more.

Middle

Towards the end of the poem, relief is shown of a man who went to war as he is able to say that he too fought in the war and therefore will not be made an outcast against his neighbours - "But I went, thank God, I went". Owen, conversely, uses his poem 'D' to explain how those who sign up for war will regret their decision due to the terrible consequences. When Owen says, "All of them touch him like some queer disease", he is illustrating that people look at the disabled soldier as abnormal, and are afraid to go near him, in particular the girls. This points towards the fact that Owen is trying to explain to the audience that this soldier will never enjoy the physical excitement of being with a girl, making him a pariah. This idea is the complete opposite of the Jingoists' opinion that not signing up for war will make you excluded. Owen distinctly refutes the idea of dying in war bringing honour in 'AFDY' when he explains the reality of the respect for the soldiers who died in battle. In the octave he asks, rhetorically, how their passing will be noticed, and what ceremony will mark their death - "What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?" He answers with irony that the noise of the guns and the rapid fire of the rifles are the prayers said for them, that the shells wailing overhead will be the choir - "Only the monstrous anger of the guns" and "no prayers, nor bells". Owen is clearly angry that the soldiers who have died are barely honoured for what they have done and is incensed with the lack of respect they have gained. Oppositely to the Jingoists, Owen emphasises the odds that soldiers who sign up will not survive. In 'DEDE', the speaker is haunted by the sight of his fellow soldier dying from the gas - "In all my dreams.....He plunges at me, guttering, chocking, drowning". ...read more.

Conclusion

young looking and handsome, that an artist had been desperate to paint a picture of him - "There was an artist silly for his face, For it was younger than his youth, last year". Owen then goes on to describe the present state the soldier remains - "Now he is old; his back will never brace". This juxtaposition effectively portrays what this particular soldier has lost due to going to war. Both Owen and Herbert Asquith use colour as a metaphor in their poems. In 'V' colour is used to describe the mood of a clerk's life who didn't go to war - "Toiling at ledgers in a city grey". The colour grey is made use of to demonstrate how miserable and mundane the clerk's life is for not joining the Army. Dissimilarly, Owen uses colour as a metaphor to describe a soldier's life after fighting in the war. 'D' expresses the disabled man's mood - "shivered in his ghastly suit of grey". This portrays how depressed and despondent the man is now that his is now virtually helpless. In conclusion, it is unambiguous to see that the content of Owen's poems and style in which he has written them, breaks to a high extent with the Jingoist literary tradition. Although Owen and the Jingoists often use similar techniques and devices in their poem to create messages, they are often producing very different and opposite arguments and conclusions. It is comprehensible that Owen and the Jingoists had very different views on war and issues surrounding the subject by looking at the ways in which they have expressed their views in their poetry. Evidently, it is plain that whilst the Jingoists believed that war was morally correct, and that people who went to war were much higher than those who didn't, Owen illustrated the true side of the story - that war is grim and many come back crippled or simply do not return at all. ?? ?? ?? ?? Yasmin Layouni Owen vs. Jingoists ...read more.

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