Owens presentation of war and soldiers in Dulce Et Decorum Est and Disabled Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:56
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When World War 1 broke out in 1914, most of Britain rejoiced. There was a rush to join the army and many young men did as they decided it was their patriotic duty to fight for their mother country. Many also joined the army because they thought the war would be an adventure and because war was being glorified and made into an exciting game at that time. Being a soldier gave you a higher status and a public respect. These ideas were reflected in many early war poems such as Rupert Brookes The Soldier and Jessie Popes Whos for the Game?

In the poem the The Soldier Brooke gives war a clean, sanitized and idealistic look, such as making England seem the perfect place and associating England with only good words (For example peace and friends laughter.) Brooke also makes war sound romantic as he makes it sound dashing and glorious like a cavalry charge and he then omits all the actual fighting and getting wounded, gassed, shot, maimed or injured. The poem is about being a hero and being taken to heaven.

Patriotism is reflected in the poem as Brooke makes it sound as if you are English and you die for England, you are precious: Englands richer dust is contained in you and when you die you make the land where you have fallen part of England. There is a repetition of England and whenever England is mentioned good things are said about it. There is also the implication that God is on Englands side, this is shown in the poem as Brooke makes the reader think that our soldiers are being blessed by God. For example blest by suns of home. Brooke also suggests that it is your patriotic duty to go and fight for the country that bore, shaped and made you aware and gave you life.

You must repay her by fighting Englands enemies. England is also personified as a mother because war was a call to mans protective instinct and possibly to his chivalry. As the war progressed the views about the war changed as well. More people stopped thinking that the war was glorious and exciting and they began to realise just how deadly and dangerous war was. They also realised the cost of war was damaging to the country, not just economically but also through by the huge numbers of the dead and wounded. People began to wonder whether the sacrifice of these men was worth the benefits of the war and whether there was even any point to the war. The war poems written at that time began to show this contrast. The early, na¯¿½ve poems of Brooke and Pope contrast with the experienced poems of Owen. The ideas that they had on war were clearly different.

In the poem Dulce et Decorum Est Owen provides the reader with a realistic presentation of the war in the trenches and the soldiers fighting in the war. Owen gives the reader the perils of that the soldier faced everyday, (for example dangers of fighting and being shot or gassed,). Owen uses very physical and graphic imagery to describe what happens (For example Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed throughout the sludge. and Men marched asleep.

Many had lost their boots but limped on, blood shod, all went lame; all blind; drunk with fatigue.) As you can see even from these couple of lines in the poem Owen uses physical description to help the reader visualise what is happening and what it was like to be out there. There is some very graphic imagery in the poem, (For exampleFloundring like a man on fire or lime¦ Dim under a green sea I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, he plunges at me guttering, choking, and drowning). Also in the poem there is some more graphic description about how what happened to this poor soldier after he got gassed: (white eyes writhing in his face, his hanging face, like a devils sick of sin, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs).

Owen also in the poem places the reader in the actual experience (For example If in some smothering dreams you too could pace behind the wagon we flung him in.) By recreating a specific moment in the poem, the gas attack Owen lets the reader enter and be part of the poem. Owen does not just place the reader in the experience he also directly addresses the reader by using words like my friends and you in the poem (For example If you could hear¦. My friend, you would not¦.) There is also reader involvement in the Old Lie at the end of the poem as Owen says with certainty that if you could see what it was like here you would not tell the children the Old Lie?

The tone of the poem is very bitter and angry and in some parts there is a very sarcastic and negative attitude In the lines If in some smothering dream you too could pace¦ the words if and you suggest that he is angry because the word if suggests that the reader doesnt know just how bad it was out there and the word you separates the reader from Owen and suggests that the reader is safe at home. There are ironic moments in the poem as the title of the poem is ironic. The last lines contradict the title of the poem Dulce et Decorum Est which means that it is sweet and right to die for your country. This is a sarcastic comment in the poem as Owen was trying to show the reader that it was not right to die for your country.

Owen also wrote another poem called Disabled which contrast with Dulce et¦ as in Dulce et¦ Owen is describing the realities of war while in Disabled Owen is writing about the results or aftermath of the war for one particular badly wounded soldier. The poem is not as physically or graphically descriptive as Dulce et¦ was; Disabled is more reflective and sorrowful, (for example Now he will never feel again how girls waists are, or how warm their subtle hands;) There is quieter language used in Disabled, for example not as loud or shocking words were used by Owen in Disabled unlike Dulce et¦ The poem shows how he lost his youth, future, limbs, hope and his normal life and how knows he has to live in hospitals waiting for death doing things that only the rules consider wise. The young man fought for his country and was wounded for it but he is not treated like a hero. He is shoved into a hospital like a diseased man and Owen stresses his bitterness about how he is treated in the poem.

(for example All of them touch him like some queer disease) Owen focuses on one normal young man but this man represents millions of others like him and it showed the reader that their brother, husband, father could be facing or could be soon facing the consequences of fighting for your country like this young man did. It also lets the reader understand the perils of war on a personal level.

In the poem there is a question being asked to the reader although not directly, and the question asked is whether the sacrifice of millions of young mens futures, lives, hopes and dreams was worth the countries involvement in the war, and again as in Dulce et¦ Owens answer is no, that it is not right to throw your future away for the country or for your country to expect this from you. The poem therefore shares some of Dulce et¦ bitterness and anger at the war. I can admire aspects of Brookes poem after reading Owens as Brooke was an idealistic even romantic man and he was obsessed with war and also Brooke was a patriot and I admire him as he was not hesitant to sign for the army and these character points are reflected in his poem. Brooke was however na¯¿½ve and inexperienced so he really didnt know fully about war and this too is reflected in his poem.

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