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A critical appreciation of the poem 'Exposure'

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A critical appreciation of the poem 'Exposure' I believe in Wilfred Owens' poem 'Exposure', there are many different purposes, and an equal number of methods, which he employs to achieve them. Throughout the poem, he uses a variety of different techniques but I think there are several which are most successful. The first and foremost approach Owen has used is that of the title, 'Exposure'. Exposure means to 'Lay open to the weather'; it suggests being uncomfortable, and susceptible to the weather, typically in a less than desirable situation. In this poem, it is the weather that torments the soldiers most, and so this title is appropriate. This title is also clever and evocative, because it causes the reader to think about the contents of the poem before having read it. I consider the reference to nature, in particular, to be very important and effective. ...read more.


This can be shown to mean that the weather is the worst of natures ills, although this, I should think is obvious. Throughout the poem, Owen uses diction to convey sentiment and mood. 'We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and stare, snow-dazed,' Within this line, he conveys his compassion for the soldiers, by providing an easily visual image of their pain so we, the reader, can sympathise with them. That they are 'back on forgotten dreams' is easily imaginable too; we can picture them on their backs bleary-eyed and lost in their memories of happier times. Owen maintains this use of diction to present vivid images of the soldiers torment. For example, his use of colour to describe embodiments of otherwise ordinary entities is provocative 'With crusted dark-red jewels;' The language used in this line is rich and powerfully graphic. This depiction of fire so resembles blood, that it is comprehensible how the soldiers would associate the two. ...read more.


Having been deserted they want to get to where the action is, as 'Far off' something is happening. It is also in this stanza that they question ''Why have they been left to suffer?' This, again, relates to their religion failing them, and their God abandoning them. Owen uses the subject of death described with dexterous diction to provoke a feeling of empathy towards the soldiers. 'Shrivelling many hands, puckering foreheads crisp.' The sibilance in this line is resemblance of the sound frost makes as it forms; the s' makes short sharp sounds, which are painful to the ear, regardless of the physical pain they cause. Again, his use of sound provides the rawest representations of war. I regard Wilfred Owens' key purposes in writing this poem to be: providing empathy for the soldiers' and illustrating the futility of war. I think that he does this very well using intense description in an echo of the style of Owen's favourite poet, John Keats. ?? ?? ?? ?? Hannah Gibbs ...read more.

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