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Write an essay about how Owen's poetry describes the plight of the soldiers.

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WRITE AN ESSAY ABOUT HOW OWEN'S POETRY DESCRIBES THE PLIGHT OF THE SOLDIERS. In many of Wilfred Owen's poems, he describes the suffering and the agony of the common soldier during war, not only on the battlefront, but he also describes the after-effects of war and its cruelty. Owen's poetry is inclined towards and elegiac nature with the function to arouse grief and to stimulate remembrance. Owen is usually best when the emotion of grief predominates over disgust in his poems and when tribute is paid to the men who died "as cattle" rather than when criticism is directly made to the perpetrators of war. Owen refers to his poems as elegies, but they offer no consolation to the readers, serving instead to warn them of the true nature of war. ...read more.


Owen recalls several incidents such as in the poem Conscious where he analyses the suffering of a soldier who is in bed. The poet describes as "sudden evening blurs and fogs the air" and the soldier becomes unconscious. In Dulce et Decorum est Wilfred Owen describes the agony an unidentified soldier passes through as he dies of mustard gas; the agony he passed through as he was "guttering, choking, drowning", and while "the blood / Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, / Obscene as cancer". But Owen doesn't only describe the physical suffering of the soldiers, the visible pain. No, Owen gives detailed description of the psychological torture the soldiers go through. This is clearly evident in the poem The Dead Beat where the poet picks out an incident where a soldier collapses, "more sullenly than wearily" out of mental exhaustion which "crazed him". ...read more.


The soldier was shot in his sleep by "the intruding lead". However, death brings serenity, rest, peace: for now "He sleeps less tremulous, less cold". Now that he is dead, he has no more sufferings to pass through - no more mental pain, no more torture. This is how a soldier can be liberated of his suffering... through death. Owen uses the technique of recalling an incident and describing in detail the agony a soldier goes through, a particular event which makes Owen's poetry more believable, more realistic. The plight of a common soldier is described through various imagery, strong crude details and other techniques such as irony. Wilfred Owen's intentions are to make the reader feel pity towards these anonymous soldiers who suffer for their country, sometimes against their will, but still, continue to do so only because they are forced to. They cannot retreat from this war. They are destined to suffer. They are destined to die. ...read more.

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