Ok what I have got here today is a detailed speech and I intend to explain two poems “Disabled” and “Dolce et Decorum est. ”, both written by Wilfred Owen. I would choose these two poems to be in an anthology because I found the poems to be very dramatic and extremely detailed. Owen intends to shock us by demonstrating what a soldier might expect in a situation between life and death. He is not afraid to show his own feelings. Wilfred Owen is an anti-war poet and expresses his ideas and feelings through various themes and poetic devices which I will be discussing throughout this speech.
Wilfred Owens’ themes portray his attitude towards what war is and what might happen to an individual during warfare. The war strips the individuals of their dignity, youth and innocence. The horrors of war also show that there is no honour and glory in war or dying in war. Owen reveals a side of the war that the government had tried covering up with mass media productions of propaganda which pressured and force the young to join the army.
Dulce et decorum est the old lie they called it. Why? he old lie because It creates a sense of something drilled into overly great young men who don’t know any better, and emphasises who many of the fighters in that war were young, who lied about their age to get into the army. ‘’Dulce et Decorum est. ’’ is an ironically titled poem, because he is saying the opposite of the literal meaning of this phrase, it is not sweet and honourable to die for your country. Owen relies on visual imagery to describe an incident of exhausted soldiers trudging through the mud of the battlefield. They are leaving the front line in order to rest for a few days in a little camp.
However, they arethen attacked by mustard gas,a substance used in chemical warfare which reacts with water in the lungs, one soldier is too late in putting on his mask. ‘’ he plunges at me guttering choking, drowning’’ Owen describes the scene as extremely devastating, it conveys the effects of the mustard gas on the body. Acting as a type of poison, I was thinking he was not referring only to the gas being poison but the whole war being poison. Owen intends to shock us by presenting the reality he is feeling, this is why I had chosen this to be one of my poems Owen sesgraphic descriptions, speaking in a very direct and straightforward way, using words that convey ugliness and also shows the reality of war which clearly changes our thoughts of war in the end.
Wilfred Owens captivating poem ‘Disabled’ relates to the after effects of what war can be responsible for. The poem depicts an ironic contrast between a strong limbed, handsome youth hero in battle and a wrecked body in a wheelchair which occurs when a man becomes horribly wounded. His themes are clear that there is no glory in war and war strips men of their youth.
Owen demonstrates how naive the minds of young boys were during the period of the war. Quotes such as “Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts” or “Someone said he’d look a god in kilts” suggests that he joined the army to impress others and to maintain this popular image that he seemed to possess. Then the quotes “Germans he scarcely thought of he had no fears” and “He thought of jewelled hilts for daggers in plaid socks of smart salutes” further demonstrates that the young soldier clearly has no real view on what war is.
Owen deliberately uses graphical imagery to convey the reality of war. “Shivered”, “Legless, sewn short at elbow” and “Before he threw away his knees” the three quotes create a depressing image through the readers mind, because it shows that the soldier had everything before the war, now he is in a hospital isolated. “He’s lost his colour very far from here” this creates an image of him giving blood for us in war. The images give us an idea of how his wounds occurred.
Owen shows us that that the war is a waste with words like “threw away” and the long term effect on the soldiers not only, the soldiers are not only mentally destroyed but also physically. Owen contrasts the life before the war and life after the war to show the effect of war on the soldiers and the lie told by the generals through propaganda. From him playing football to becoming handicapped. He had his pride now it is all gone from one wrong move. Throughout the 1st stanza the tone is depicted to be negative to envy to loss then in the end asking rhetorical questions.
This creates different moods in the readers mind. I had found “disabled” and “dolce et decorum est” more effective than any of Wilfred Owens other poems they had many similarities between each other. The poems depict extreme graphical imagery and easily convey the meaning of war and his attitudes toward it. It shows what can happen after the war over time both physically and mentally. These are the reasons why I had chosen “disabled” and “dolce et decorum est” to be included in an anthology. Thank you for listening to my speech.
Courtney from Study Moose
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