Throughout the second verse of Owens poem, he explains about someone’s experience of being gassed. Owen goes into detail of how the gas has an immediate effect on the man, “but someone was still yelling out… “And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime” here Owen uses vivid language to really get across the point of how much this man is really suffering. So Owen talks about this mans immense pain, he seems to suggest that this man would not be suffering this pain if it had not been for the war. Owen uses a simile to describe how the gas looked, “as under a green sea, I saw him drowning.” So, again Owen uses vivid language to describe how the gas looks and he likens the gas to a green sea and a man is drowning in this sea.
On the other hand, Grenfell mentions that he finds war a “great delight”, and that the pain you suffer is all worth it and when eventually you die you would be overcome by a “great rest and fullness after death.” So Grenfell’s outlook on death in war is completely different to Owens outlook on war, as Owen recognizes that all types of war causes pain which leads to death. Whereas, Grenfell sees fighting for ones country as patriotic, and dying in war as the climax of your life.
Thirdly, Owen presents the reader with the thought of death, pain and helplessness, which are all linked. Owen goes into detail of this man in the process of dying, he describes the mans expressions to a “devil sick of sin”, and you would never see the devil sick of sin, so Owen is implying that the devil is so fed up of war and death that he is sick of it, therefore you can feel for how much this man is in pain and fed up of the reality of war.
By contrast, Grenfell feels God is in favour of war and death and even protects the soldier… “Heaven hold him in high comradeship…” However, Owen is saying that even if you were the devil you would be fed up of war and death, so it is obvious that Owens and Grenfell’s perception of war are completely different. Throughout the poem Into Battle Grenfell seems to be glorifying war, whereas Owen does not, he calls war a big lie, hence the title, as in Latin its basically means that war is one big lie.
In conclusion, Owen decides that it is not good to die for country; he mentions that he would never tell his children the real truth of war and the reality of war, “my friend, you would not tell with such high zest, to children ardent for desperate glory,” and the tone of his poem is very bitter toward war as Owen exposes war in what he calls “the old lie”. So he is very angry that people see war as glorious and heroic like Grenfell seems to think war as. So you can really reason with why Owen reasons this way, as many people see being in a war and dying for your country, the right thing to do. Whereas the poem into battle by Grenfell wants everyone to know about how he feels war is so great and that your life reaches a climax when you die, as he mentions about the, “joy of battle…” So Grenfell feels dying for your country important and he sees himself being as a hero by joining in war and dying.
So, you can really see the difference between the two soldiers, as Grenfell is an extremely patriotic person and it is as if he has been blinded not to see the real truth of war, yet Owen can see the real light of war and hates it, “the old lie: Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori.”
Both poems concentrate on the similar subject of going to war but have totally different points of view and contradict each other. For example Grenfell has a patriotic point of view, meanwhile Owen has a critical opinion of war. However, both poets use their knowledge to show us how soldiers in World War 1 confronted war and the consequences that war brought to the soldiers.
Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
*** 3 STARS This is a good essay which attempts to answer the question and uses PEA (Point, Evidence, Analysis) throughout. There is some repetition of ideas and phrases. Some good analysis which needs inclusion of more literary terminology. Shows clear understanding of the poems.