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With specific focus on Wilfred Owens poems Futility, Anthem for Doomed Youth, Dulce et Decorum est and Mental Cases, evaluate the methods Owen uses to bring across his convictions, feelings and ideas to you, the reader

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With specific focus on Wilfred Owen's poems Futility, Anthem for Doomed Youth, Dulce et Decorum est and Mental Cases, evaluate the methods Owen uses to bring across his convictions, feelings and ideas to you, the reader The Great War, a glorified title for the drawn out fighting spread across the continent where many millions of soldiers lost their lives. Memories and accounts of this tragic problem caused solely by human greed have been preserved through various ways. In poems and through pictures both passed down and looked upon through the many generations the emotions and consequences of such a devastating atrocity have been conveyed. With Wilfred Owen in particular, a poet with first hand experience, his legacy still lives on in the poems which give onlookers a some what unique insight into what some may remember as 'The war which would be over by Christmas' but in reality a bloody warfare lasting five years. One of Owen's main aims was to teach and tell the people back in Britain how war was really like. Perceptions initially from family and friends as well as soldiers were that of happiness and honour. Masses of allied troops many young and inexperienced were coming back injured and even dead yet the true horrific nature of the war was hidden from people supporting the war effort back in Britain. A 'smokescreen' of propaganda posters and media covered up the horrendous footage of people dying meaning the public were misinformed and misconceived about the real events which were taking place in front of their very eyes. Owen's poems often discuss and show in detail these events. The reality of war where death is just a common occurrence is highlighted in a majority of Owen's poems through similes and metaphors. ...read more.


This idea once again repeats that death is permanent and no matter what cannot be reversed. The tone changes as his outlook changes and this is effectively done by the use of different adjectives such as "Gently" to "Break" and from hope to despair. The change in mood to that of grief caused by the tone in the poem is effective in associating the reader with Owen's outlook about the pointlessness of war. As well as the aspect of death Owen wanted to show the perhaps more deadly and traumatising factors which affected a majority of the injured whilst they were wounded on the battlefield or recovering in the wards. The madness as a consequence of war is often undermined by various other more obvious things such as death yet it is equally important to know and understand the circumstances in which soldiers were facing. The poem Mental Cases provides an inspiring insight into the post-traumatic experiences of men after the war. In this poem Owen focuses on informing the public of the horrors linked with war and the fact that soldiers who were given disabilities by fighting for our country are often forgotten. Contrasting to his other poems such as Dulce et Decorum est and Anthem for Doomed Youth in which Owen concentrates on teaching about the actual specific horrors of war. The strong, descriptive imagery is a reoccurring feature in the poem Mental Cases. This is achieved through choice and use of adjectives which emphasise the disabilities soldiers faced as a result of going to war. "Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish." And "Therefore still their eyeballs shrink, tormented." These two selected quotes offer good examples of the general ideas and contents of the poem. ...read more.


"Baring teeth that leer like skulls' teeth wicked?" By using personal words Owen has a greater control over the reader's emotions by making the disabled seem less fortunate whilst blaming the reader for what has happened. Owen also creates the feeling of empathy and sympathy within the reader by targeting people's weaker emotional side. The personal pronouns in the final sentences of the poem add the sense of personal attachment "Brother" and generally these two techniques combined together to create the intended purpose of Owens which is to inform about the true horrific nature of the war. Different aspects of religion have been incorporated into many of Owen's pieces of poetry. The use of religion and in many cases about soldiers not receiving a 'proper burial' emanates the harshness of war. In the poem Mental Cases, each of the first line of the three stanzas is similar to that of the King James Version of Revelation 7.13-17: "What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?...These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God." Bible "Who are these? Why sit here in twilight, These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished, Therefore still their eyeballs shrink tormented." Mental Cases This certainly provides evidence about the religious context surrounding warfare at the time. Particular in Mental Cases Owen's similarities between that and a well known passage of The Bible which act to the same effect as a comparison and used to portray the harshness of war. "Can patter out their hasty orisons" and "Like a devil sick of sin" Christianity was the main religion in Britain at the time and is normally shown as a comforter yet in Owen's poems the opposite effect is enforced. ...read more.

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