Through His Poetry Wilfred Owen Wished to Convey, to the General
Public, the Pity of War. In a Detailed Examination of these Poems,
With Reference to Others, Show the Different ways in which He achieved this.
Wilfred Owen fought in the war as an officer in the Battle of the
Somme. He entered the war in January of 1917. However he was
hospitalised for war neurosis and was sent for rehabilitation at
Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh that May. At Craiglockhart he
met Siegfried Sassoon, a poet and novelist whose grim antiwar works
were in harmony with Wilfred Owen's concerns. It was at Craiglockhart
where Wilfred Owen produced the best work of his short career under
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are in. "Dulce Et Decorum Est" consists
of four unequal stanzas, the first two in sonnet form, and the last
two in a looser structure. The first stanza sets the scene of soldiers
limping back from the front. The authorial stance is of Owen telling
us of his own personal experiences. The second stanza focuses on one
man who could not get his gas mask on in time. This is a recurring
nightmare that Owen has, where he sees one man "drown" in the gas and
in the third stanza he describes how the man "plunges" at Owen,
"guttering, choking, drowning." This is an image Wilfred Owen will
never forget. The fourth and final stanza, Wilfred Owen again attacks
the people at home who uphold the continuance of the war, unaware of
the reality. He wishes they could experience his own "smothering
dreams" which he then goes on to describe in great detail. At the end
of this poem he appeals to people not to tell children "Dulce et
decorum est pro patria mori." It is sweet and fitting to die for your
country. This particular poem shows the pity of the war in a very
shocking way by great use of poetical devices, which at the end he
makes the reader think about.
"Disabled" is a poem about the life of a young soldier before he
"threw away his knees" in the war and of his present, miserable life.
It is not, however, written chronologically, but instead it is a
stream of consciousness of thoughts wandering between the past and
present. The authorial stance is of Owen standing outside the poem. It
is quite impersonal for the young soldier in it, but it is a personal
experience for the reader because the reader empathises the young
soldier. It is very unusual in that sense. The effect that Owen wishes
to portray is that the man is looking at himself and what he has
become. He wants the reader empathise, and to realise what the war can
do. This is how the pity of the war is shown in this poem.
"Anthem for Doomed Youth" is an elegiac sonnet. It is not an account
of Owen's experience in the war itself, but rather a judgement on it.
The title is correct; "doomed youth" as some soldiers in the war were
very young. The title can either be thought of as ironic, or in actual
respect of the youth who gave their lives. The authorial stance is a
narrative observer. This poem shows Wilfred Owen's anger and
bitterness towards the war and the church. It is written in an
unorthodox way because thorough out the first stanza he ironically
links a catalogue of the sounds of the war, the weapons of
destruction, guns, rifles, shells, with religious imagery. In the
second stanza the focus changes to the mourning people in Britain.
"Dulce Et Decorum Est" uses many poetical devises. The first stanza
creates an appalling image of the soldiers limping back from the
front. In this stanza the condition of the men is such that they can
be compared to "old beggars under sacks," the sack being their once
smart uniform and "coughing like hags,"