The Western Front By Wilfred Owen: Poem Analysis

Words: 1142
Pages: 5

In the final stanza, the poem shifts tones as the speaker begins to directly address his target audience. “If it some smothering dreams you too could pace/Behind the wagon we flung him in.” At this point it is clear that Owen and his fellow soldiers have picked up their comrade that has breathed in the poison gas and flung him in a wagon. The word flung here is very powerful, as the soldiers don’t take the time to neatly place him in, instead they flung him in and they know that he is going to die. I think this image of a solider being flung into what seems like a dirty-rickety old wagon, stands in stark contrast to the typical image of a solider being buried in a casket and covered in flag. I think the point that Owen is trying to make with the contrast between these two images is that in World War I there is no honorable and or glorious death. I also found the phrase smothering dreams to be quite powerful because smothering is something that is …show more content…
Every time it jolts Owen hears the gargling of blood, from froth-corrupted lungs. As a reader this line is so traumatizing that it is almost beyond words. It is clear that this is what the gas attack has done to Owen’s friend. Owen continues, “Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud/ Of vile incurable sores on innocent tongues.” Owen’s uses similes of diseases to describe the horrors of war. Cud is portion of regurgitated food that returns from a cow’s stomach to be chewed again. I think the idea behind that is to emphasize that Owen keeps on regurgitating the same image of his friend dying in the gas attack, and that his friend death is as obscene as any disease particularly because his friend and young soldiers are