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Why is the battle so vivid in Spring Offensive?

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Why is the battle so vivid in "Spring Offensive?" The poem "Spring Offensive" describes an attack which is made by a company of soldiers, against an enemy situated on a hill (a bad attacking position). As the poem says, the attack takes place in May, and this means the gentle surrounding countryside with its trees and flowers are completely contrasting to the dark situation that the soldiers are in, as many of them travel to their deaths. The beginning of the poem shows a sense of great comradeship and ease between the men. They lean against each other, resting and each preparing in his own way for the ordeal ahead of them, but others of them are more solemn, knowing that the attack they make may well be their last. Owen describes the sunlight as "like an injected drug for their bodies' pains", which shows how strong an effect the glimpse of the sunlight has on the men, who may be seeing it for the last time. ...read more.


They felt that the war would be glorious, marching forwards alongside your friends for the sake of your country, but in fact the reality of war was different; darker and more traumatic than any of the young men could have imagined. In the fifth stanza, the men go out of their dugouts, and over the top. The imagery used by Owen is extraordinarily moving, when he speaks of the earth "setting sudden cups in thousands for their blood". Coupled with the previous image of the brambles clinging to the men and wanting to keep them with them, this almost symbolises that nature is on the side of the men who are sacrificing their lives for the honour of their countries. When, in the sixth stanza, Owen says of the men who did not live past the attack that "some say God caught them even before they fell" this seems gravely symbolic. ...read more.


If you look at the image that Owen uses in the beginning of the final stanza, he talks of some men sinking, and the survivors who floated back up to the surface not being able to talk about it. In conclusion, I feel that in his poem "Spring Offensive", Wilfred Owen vividly describes the experiences of battle, giving a more accurate, and perhaps brutal, picture of the so-called glorious war. As a soldier in the trenches in the First World War himself, Owen would have been familiar with the events he described, and this adds even more depth to the lines - it feels as though he is not telling a story, he is recounting something that really happened, which he himself would have experienced. As Owen was killed just before the end of war, he would most likely have had the experience of being both the soldier who slowly returned to the surface, and finally the solider who sunk into death, never to return. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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