Wilfred Owen Trial

To appreciate the poems of Wilfred Owen, the key themes must first be understood: nationalistic sacrifice, uselessness of war and the true horrors of war; all of these qualities are what make Owen’s War poetry valuable when gaining insight the horrors of those trapped in War. The Poems Anthem for Doomed Youth, Disabled and Futility expose different qualities of war but and supported by the foundation of the themes of useless and the true sacrifice of War.

Each poem reveals Owen’s agenda in exposing the sacrifice and power of the human spirit.Anthem for Doomed Youth through exposing the horrors and uselessness of War allow the responder to truly appreciate Owen’s poetry. Alliterative phrase along with aural imagery is used in “stuttering rifles rapid rattle” provides insight into the constant sounds and horrors of war.

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Owen explores the dichotomy of death through aural imagery as the constant sound of death can leave a solider “disabled”, highlighting the revulsion of war. Metaphor is exposed through personification in “Bugle’s calling” which highlights the historical context of the “bugles” calling the soldiers to fight is now calling them to rise once again and serve the nationalistic sacrifice and feed the ongoing hunger of the War.Owen attempts to illuminate the uselessness of War as well as the paradox of life and death as each guaranteed victory, comes guaranteed “sacrifice”. Metaphor is exposed through personification in “demented choir of wailing shells” highlighting the allusion to a funeral choir calling for more sacrifice by the sudden weapons of war. Owen attempts to highlight that even the weapons of war are “wailing” at the useless sacrifice of the horror in war.

The audience can gain a solid appreciation for the poetry of Wilfred Owen through the insightfully exposing how the colliding objects of War together identify the sacrifices of war; exposing the ignorance of the commanding generals.Appreciation of Wilfred Owen can continually be exposed by Anthem for Doomed youth as it exposes the true aural and visual dismay of War. Metaphor and alliterative phrase is used to construct “drawing down of the blinds” to provide insight into the paradox of sacrifice.

Owen exposes that with the end of each day come the end of life in war as more and more sacrifices are needed to fulfil the “useless” cause of war. Personification and adverb is used to construct “monstrous anger of guns “ as Owen exposes that even the weapons of war are discouraged and angry at the sacrifice of war. “Patter out” through colloquialism is created to highlight that through the anger and sadness of the weapons of war; many lives are “pattered out of existence” which exposes the ongoing theme of the useless of war. Rhetorical question and metaphor are constructed in “who die as cattle?” to provide insight into the predestined nature of soldiers to be raised and sacrificed as cattle.

Owen exposes the paradox of war as men have to be used as “cattle” to feed the ongoing hunger of the slaughter of war. Owen insightfully challenges the audience to understand the lasting effects of War as the horrors are not just contained in the confines of battle.Appreciation of Owen’s poems can also be exposed by the visual imagery which is created in the poem of Disabled. “Slob like relish” is used by Owen through the visual imagery as well as “drooping tongues” to provide insight into the aftermath of War as it sacrifices everything it touches, leaving some soldiers the living dead. “Faces the dead have ravished” through metaphor exposes the horrors of war as even after death, the men still have not been able to remove the scars of death from their dreams. Owen provides insight into the paradox of the disabled as they can no longer communicate with the outside world, nor can they leave their scared mind, leaving them in constant parallel of death. Metaphor is constructed through simile in “Dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh” to provide insight into the continuum of War as it impact can never be healed.

Owen allows the reader to visualise the paradox of War as with its continuation more men must “bleed afresh” for its advancement. Through Disabled, the audience is able to accept the likely qualities of Nationalistic sacrifice, creating the horrors of war which allow the appreciation of Owen’s insightful poetry.Futility by Wilfred Owen allows the responder to appreciate Owen’s poetry on a different context through the distinctive idea of predestined fate.

Owen uses the extended metaphor of “seeds” as the men are grown from “clay” to be broken down and slaughtered for their predestined fate of sacrifice for a Nationalistic cause. Owen continues the extended metaphor with the “sun” as the “sun” or the generals of war have raised the young “seeds” to grow as men and serve the cause of sacrifice. It is through the quality of understanding Owen’s distinctive idea of predetermined fate that the responder is able to appreciate the nature of insight Owen’s poetry provides.

Author: Armando Mendoza


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