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Futility Wilfred Owen Essay

540 words - 3 pages

The poem ‘Futility’ is a one about a fallen soldier who is moved into the sun so that he may be revived from its warmth. This act viewed from our perspective is futile or useless because the sun cannot do that further creating a tone of despair to be recognised for the readers of this poem. This tone of despair is established briefly in the first half of the first stanza.
The very first line of this poem creates an initial sense of hope through the imperative, ‘Move him into the sun’ as the imperative word ‘Move’ directs us as the reader into doing exactly just that, moving the soldier into the sun as we are told so that the soldier can revive immediately. The effect of this line ...view middle of the document...

As we move along from the first stanza and its tone change from the word ‘until’ into stanza two, Owen begins to add a lot of pauses or breaks with the use of the dash (-), possibly prompting us to pause as well and possibly to recollect what has been said so far so that we may reflect or question about the sun and its initial false hope created. From here, there are a total of three rhetorical questions and Owen’s purpose of this is to enable us to see how he is losing faith in humanity. The questions in which he asks are, ‘too hard to stir’, ‘Was it for this the clay grew tall’ and ‘O what made fatuous sunbeams toil to break earth’s sleep at all?’ In all of these mentioned, the one that highlights the tone of despair is, ‘O what made fatuous sunbeams toil to break earth’s sleep at all?’ as it contrasts the portrayal of the sun we saw earlier as ‘kind’ and ‘old’ and ‘gently’ touching a soldier from his sleep. It is one the best represents the tone of despair as it shows how war is wiping of the generation of young men and also more importantly it also shows us as the reader, the meaning of life, are we here to kill one another? The earth should not have been given life from the sun, if our only purpose is to kill highlighting the tone of despair Owen creates for us to see.

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