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Analysis of War Poems

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In this day and age, we are subjected to warfare. Terror and destruction

I do not agree with the concept of war, but I understand the necessity of it, sometimes. Who am I to disagree with the beliefs of someone else? Most wars are fought because of a fundamental truth - beliefs. Whether it is religious, territorial, economical, it all begins with believing that it is right and just and being prepared to risk your life to defend your belief.

I am sickened by the cruelty and waste of life and angered by those who believe and promote the “old lie”, that it’s “sweet and fitting to die for ones country”. Youth are misguided about the belief that it is right and just. However, it is primarily their decision to go to war if that is what they believe in and fight for their country thinking that they’re helping to achieve dominance for their belief.

The poem, Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen effectively conveys his message about war through poetic technique and language. This enhances the poems quality, showing the pointlessness of war, the injustice of it and the idealistic enthusiasm of believing in the idea. “My friend, you would not tell with such high zest” indicates this statement.

Writing from personal experience, Wilfred Owen promotes a dominant reading that rejects the conception that dying for your country is worth aspiring to. In Dulce Et Decorum Est, Owen establishes horrific images of war and the horrendous trauma that the young soldiers had to endure.

By Owen using similes - “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, knock-kneed, coughing like hags” and the metaphor “blood-shod; drunk with fatigue”, he generates an image and rhythm in which the audience can conjure up a visualization of the place. The impression created is of the company that the exhausted soldiers had returning. “Gas! Gas! Quick boys!” has an immediate response from the audience as the pace and a sense of urgency is reflected by the command. Emotive language constructs the ghastly representation of soldier’s deaths. The lines “before my helpless sight; guttering, choking, drowning” confronts the audience with the image of the soldiers unavoidable death.

In today’s modern society, we are subjected to many forms of media that exposes the heroism and the glory opposed to the horror, fear and death that soldier’s experience, on the front line. The lines, “...tell with such zest, To children ardent for some desperate glory” adequately portrays the kind of compassion, respect, idealistic enthusiasm and the faith that they withhold rightness of the belief. The full saying: “Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori” - it is sweet and right to die for your country represents this belief.

Owen is dispassionate about sending youth to war as he has seen such deaths as he vividly describes in this unjust suffering and inflicting poem.

I feel as though they are obligated to fight for this belief, undergo the consequences and responsibility to represent their country. Responsibility is placed in the youth’s hand, but in reality, do these “soldiers” know the actions to take? Or how big a responsibility is handed to them? The responsibility that has been placed in their hands is not a responsibility for the youth, yet they are the ones fighting, supposedly for their country.

Wilfred Owen portrays the honour of dying for ones country in the poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth”. A hymn of praise and devotion is referred to by the title “Anthem” but irony is established as Owen challenges what acknowledgement that the young soldiers have of war.

Owen is able to effectively convey his outrage at sending youth to war by the controlled use of poetic technique and word choice in “Anthem for Doomed Death”. Emphasising

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