Wilfred Owen – Writing

“Men marched asleep” – From dulce et decorum est and “Slowly our ghosts drag home” – From Exposure. Hyperbole and metaphor to show how extremely exhausted the men are. Wilfreds poems are a sort of antiwar, so the message conveyed is that men cannot function porperly when they are ghosts of themselves they need

p2- terrible conditions, exposure is purely based around the terrible weather conditions which the soldiers faced. Saying if the war, bullets, didnt kill them than the conditions would. “Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us…” personification.

do we say i or the reader

Wilfred Owen uses language features, in his poems “Dulce et Decorum Est” and “Exposure,” to protest against the conditions which soldiers faced in war. “We cursed through the sludge,” Owen uses an unusual verb ‘cursed’ to show how the soldiers thoughts on the mud. Sludge was the bane of many problems that soldiers faced. It would get into their sleeping bags, the boots and socks leading to trench foot. This quote gives the reader an image of soldiers struggling to walk through thick mud, swearing understandably.

p3- “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Only the stuttering rifles rapid rattle” Passing bells reference the bells rung to signal a death or funeral. The soldiers don’t get a bell, only the rifles being fired upon them. Message war should not be glorified

Wilfred Owen in his poems “Anthem for Doomed Youth” and “Dulce et Decorum Est” uses language features to display the message that war should not be glorified. “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle.” Wilfred uses two language features in this quote from “Anthem for Doomed Youth.” He asks a rhetorical question “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?” Passing-bells reference the bells which are rung outside a church when there has been a death or funeral. Wilfred is wondering where are these bells? The soldiers do not get such a privilege as to have their deaths marked by bells. The second language feature is alliteration of “the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle.” Wilfred answers his own question saying no they don’t get passing-bells, only the rattle of rifles to mark their death. This adds to the idea of soldiers only being seen as cattle off to the slaughter, they aren’t even acknowledged enough for the churches to ring their bells. “The old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.” In English this says, “the old Lie: It is sweet and fitting to die for ones country.” Wilfred is using oxymoron  that if you had experienced the horrors of war which these soldiers have faced, you would not believe this to be true. This is why he calls it ‘the old lie,’ as he has seen people dying in horrific ways, he knows there is no honour in dying this way.

 

 

Wilfred Owen uses language features, in his poems “Dulce et Decorum Est” and “Exposure,” to protest against the conditions which soldiers faced in war. “We cursed through the sludge,” gives the reader an image of soldiers struggling to walk through thick mud, swearing consistently. Owen uses an unusual verb ‘cursed’ to show how the soldiers despise the war conditions. Sludge was the bane of many problems that soldiers faced; mud would get into their sleeping bags, boots and socks leading to trench foot and hypothermia. This makes it understandable for soldiers to be cursing the sludge after months of enduring its labours. “Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us.” Wilfred personifies the wind in saying that it was so cold it was as if it was stabbing the soldiers with knives. This makes it seem as if the wind is an enemy of it’s own,  Even when the soldiers weren’t being fired upon, they were still ‘at the mercy’ of the weather. “The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow…” Wilfred uses emotive language to provoke feelings of misery inside the reader. This tells the reader that the weather conditions were bad for the soldiers’ mental health. The dreary weather has taken such a toll on the soldiers, that even dawn doesn’t bring them happiness. Wilfred actually believes that bullets of war are “Less deadly than the air that shudders black with snow.”

 

In the poems “Dulce et Decorum Est” and “Exposure” Wilfred Owen uses language features to convey the idea of the exhaustion of war. The soldiers faced some horrific things at war that put immense stress on the body. “Men marched asleep,” this is a metaphor from “Dulce et Decorum Est,” Owen is saying that the men were so exhausted from war that they were walking, talking, killing as if in their sleep. The soldiers being in this state would not feel as if their actions were their own; this may have made them kill without instinct or made them scared for their lives as their functions wouldn’t work properly. Owen shares that they didn’t feel like they were part of their own body’s in exposure, “Slowly our ghosts drag home.” This use of hyperbole exaggerates how tired they were, they were hollow not even inside themselves. It gives the reader an image of the soldiers’ ghosts slowly dragging their bodies behind them, as they have collapsed. This shows the immense spirit in which these soldiers had, despite their bodies being utterly broken. The message Wilfred Owen wanted to portray through these exhausted images is that the soldiers were used to the point of which they “die as cattle” heading to the slaughter house. They were not given enough rest, just used for one purpose; to be the meat of the war. They could be related to slaves, bound to their country by honour, but not given the glory promised by propaganda. Instead, being worked till death with no glory attached deal.

 

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