Wilfred Owen’s "1914": A Modernist Approach to Society’s Ideas of War Essay

Submitted By Prathdaddy
Words: 811
Pages: 4

War has existed since the beginning of time, whether it’s because of Religion, land growth, or just simply a disagreement with another group of people; blood has always been shed. No matter what the root cause is for a particular battle, war has never been something that many people look highly of, because so many innocent men and women never get to return home to their loved ones. Although, it hasn’t always been like this; many years ago during World War One huge groups of people lined the streets celebrating the new troops heading overseas. Whereas now it’s a sad, wistful departure, and definitely no one is parading with excitement. Instead, during recent years, the ideology of war has changed exponentially and will continue to change as people learn of alternate ways to restore peace. It will be expressed through this paper that Wilfred Owen’s poem, “1914”, takes a Modernist approach to society’s ideas of war, and eliminates the common belief during this time, along with the individualistic imagination that Owen brings to the nature of this world.

During the start of World War One in 1914, many people from all parts of the world were very enthusiastic for their young men to go off to battle because it gave them a sense of hope and pride that their country would be well protected. From the eyes of those at home, working their daily lives, the war didn’t come across as a grueling challenge and thought that the war would be over relatively quickly; but that turned out to be drastically wrong. From the perspective of the men at war, like Wilfred Owen, it was an ugly, scary feeling, cringing at every noise produced; not truly knowing who’s to your left or right. Through his poem “1914”, Owen displays to societies that through abstraction and individualism comes a true reality, one that is much different than the collective norm. War shouldn’t be celebrated; it’s a desperate time for many countries, and for the families waiting at home, it often feels like time without an end. Alternatively, what Owen was trying to express is that soldiers of all backgrounds should be respected for what they’re about to face, because war is a cold, grisly matter influencing how thoughts are processed on a daily basis. After the poem “1914” was released, and the war respectively was finished; society started to come to realization of what was occurring and share the same viewpoint as Wilfred Owen, something that has continued to this day, nearly one hundred years later.

It appears throughout the poem that Owen takes a slight shift in writing and travels back to the Romanticism side of poetry, striking emotion with society by relating seasons to the different stages of war that were proceeding. Nature has continued to be one of the most beautiful amazements within the world, whether it’s the beauty of the falling leaves, or smell of rain infiltrating your nose bringing you joy and comfort. Nature has always been something people rely on for stability, amenity, or even contentment; and is globally respected.