Essay on Wilfred Owen

Submitted By charlottewatkins3942
Words: 1127
Pages: 5

Compare the ways in which Wilfred Owen reflects on the price paid by soldiers during wartime In Wilfred Owens poems he explains to the reader what it was like in the war, in this essay I’m looking at the ways he reflects on the price paid by the soldiers during wartime. He creates sympathy from the reader without clearly encouraging it, his poems are not to upset or anger the reader, but to help their understanding of what the war was really like. His audience would have been the people who didn’t go to war, who stayed at home and respected that their men were out fighting for their country, idealizing a husband who had been there and being disrespect to the men who didn’t fight. He describes the war both through the physical pain, and the mental pain it brought to the soldiers. First I am going to talk about how he spoke about the physical pain brought to the soldiers, in the poem Disabled Owen describes the soldiers as ‘legless’ and ‘in wheeled chairs’ to represent how the soldiers have lost vital limbs, and needing wheeled chairs to be able to get around, immediately creating sympathy from the reader. ‘Leap of purple spurted from his leg’ tells us descriptively what he saw, trying to make the reader understand what it was like by creating an image in their head. He uses negative words in his poem, he does this repeatedly to create impact, for example ‘town used to swing so gay’ and ‘he will never feel again’. Also when he says ‘now he will spend a few years sick in institutes’ and ‘now he is old, he sabotages the present, reflecting that the happiness there used to be will never be again. In his poem Dulce et Decorum Est he tells the reader how the soldiers were ‘bent double, like old beggars’ and ‘coughing like hags’, using similes he emphasizes what the soldiers looked like and how the war had affected their appearance. ‘Many had lost their boots’ this tells us how they were deprived of everyday things we take for granted, and how in the war it wasn’t a priority to replace luxury’s like this, only making their everyday more uncomfortable and causing injury’s on their feet. He carries on telling the reader about the avoidable yet consistent injury’s they suffer from, ‘incurable sores on innocent tongues’, this reflects the innocence of these men, and sores on tongues could easily be healed in a hospital, in a city, however, where they are means all they can do is suffer the extra and unneeded pain. In Exposure he mentions ‘twitching agonies of men’, by saying this he tells the reader what they would have seen if they were there, he again trying to develop their understanding of the horrors he witnessed on a regular basis, without trying to encourage sympathy. He also shows this in Mental Cases when he says ‘stroke on stroke of pain’, showing that pain was inevitable, it was a constant suffering that would only seem to get worse. Now I am study how he spoke about the mental pain that was suffered, in his poem Exposure he says ‘the winds that knive us’, this represents that even the weather was against these men, showing no mercy from their surroundings. He mentions ‘confuse our memory’ and in his poems he also talks about men who go mad from the war, this can represent the physical pain they suffer as well. This also highlights not even their memory is truly theirs anymore. In Dulce et Decorum Est he talks about how the men have lost their boots, showing these men are losing everything from their clothing to their memory. Both are things the reader would take for granted. As well as this, in Disabled
He mentions memories from then men, such as ‘town used to swing so gay’ however, are these memories of what used to be, or simply an illusion of a mad man? ‘Worried by silence’ by saying this Owen reflects how these men are paranoid, and how their surroundings are affecting their mental health through a noise that anyone else wouldn’t fear. The anticipation makes them expect the worst, as if good things don’t