The differences and similarities between Wilfred Owens 'Dulce ET Decorum EST' and Julian Grenfells 'Into Battle'

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English Essay         10/02/2003            Sebastian Page – N.J.P

The differences and similarities between Wilfred Owens ‘Dulce ET Decorum EST’ and Julian Grenfells ‘Into Battle’

In the first paragraph Owen seems to suggest that war transform everything it touches. In the opening verse he describes soldiers returning from the frontline as being, ‘like old beggars under sack and coughing like hags’. So, it seems to appear that these normally young fit men are becoming old and haggard before their time. Owen goes on to explain about their movements, ‘they marched asleep’ and ‘trudged’, so war has made them into seemingly cripples.

Having said that, Julian Grenfell provides us with an entirely different approach to war. Grenfell seems to see war as something very similar to nature, ‘Not only will ‘fighting men take warmth from the sun, but they will also experience newer birth like the trees”, so Grenfells suggests that when you fight you are re-born and you take your energy from your natural environment. So Grenfells view on war totally differs to Owens view of war, indeed, Grenfells even believes that God is on the soldiers’ side, ‘Heaven holds him in high comradeship”.  Therefore he feels that God is in favour of war, because God created nature and its laws and with animals in nature it’s only the survival of the fittest to win, and Grenfell feels the same, which war is natures way of sorting out the strongest humans to survive.

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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 ...

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*** 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.