Owens graphic descriptions of the suffering and anguish of the soldiers also provokes an emotional response from the reader. For instance in ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, the soldier’s suffering as they suffocate from the gas which is shown in the personal pronoun; ‘I saw him drowning’ shattering any illusion that war is glorious and allows the audience to understand the agony that was endured from the gas. This is reinforced by the evocative imagery in the simile, ‘as under a green sea’. The comparison of the gas bomb and the green sea intensifies the image of the horrors of war and the torment that was afflicted. Owen emphasis the consuming and destructive qualities of the gas through the use of the simile ‘like a man in fire or lime’. Owen enables the reader to experience the actions and sounds of the war first-hand which further helps to deepen our grasp of suffering by using these techniques.
However in Owen’s poem ‘Mental Cases’ he explores the aftermath and trauma experienced by soldiers and the psychological scarring to help the reader gain a greater insight into the suffering undergone after the war. He portrays the dehumanised state of the soldiers through religious diction, ‘Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows’ to create a visual of soldiers rocking back and forth, trying to shake off their mental torment which is indicative of their suffering. This image is