In the elegy “strange Meeting “, Owen brings the horrors of wars and their devastating effect on those involved, he emphasizes their part in hindering the world from progress . War and death are presented in this poem through the story of two dead soldiers ,who fought on opposite sides , and who meet again in Hell . They speak of their shared hopefulness of the “undone years ” . Owen’s manipulation of words and his use of artistic devices in the poem takes the reader to a vivid awareness of the real dreadfulness of battles and death.
The speaker in the poem ,who is a soldier, starts the poem by saying that he seemed to ” escape” the battle to somewhere else , a place he discovers later to be Hell . The mere use of the word ” escape ” implies that the speaker was trapped in war before he escapes to Hell which is , when compared to battle, a relief.
Owen says that common words associated with wars like chivalry , courage and gallantry do not describe wars, not really, instead war is pain , sorrow and loss .
He emphasizes on the destructiveness of wars to those involved . He says ” yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned ” , so they are ” encumbered ” physically with their uniforms and sacks and emotionally with too much sadness and sorrow brought to them by war . Those sleepers are ” too fast in thought or death ” to be stirred . One of those sleepers ” sprang up ” from death and smiles , although he smiles but still it is a smile of death . That man recognizes the speaker for he, the speaker, is the one who killed him as we know later in the poem . The poet describes this other man’s face as ” grained ” with ” a thousand pains “, pains from his previous life and past experiences in battle . Now they are in Hell , a place of anguish and despair , a place where shouts of pain and torment is expected , but oh no , not in this poem .
Hell is a quit place where there is silence ” yet no blood reached there from the upper ground ” ” and no guns thumped , or down the flues made moan ” . So Own draws a picture of silence in Hell and contrasts this picture with battle where noise, blood and moans are everywhere . The speaker says about Hell that ” here is no cause to mourn ” no more grief or sadness . The stranger agrees with him ” None ” as if they are both relieved that it finally Al Neghaimshi 2 ended , finally they will rest . ” Save the undone years , the hopelessness ” This is their only regret . They shared so many in the past , the two of them , similar lives , experiences and similar horrors and pains that they could be called “friends ” in spite of the fact that they are actually strangers . “Strange Friend ” as paradoxical as it seems but still true , ” Whatever hope is yours , was my life also ” .
Owen argues that wars ” trek” the nations from progress and he calls it ” retreating world ” . The poet says ” when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels ” he would go and ” wash them ” . Owen takes into his hands as a poet ” to warn ” as he said himself once , ” Even with truths that lies too deep ” . He says he will do it ” not through wounds ; not on the cess of war ” , so it is not through innocent people , not through wars that destroys the lives of many . ” Forehead of men have bled where no wounds were ” that’s a clear indication to the myth of Christ which says that before he was crucified his body sweat blood , He was the one who paid for the sins of the humankind and so are those men paying their lives in wars whom foreheads ” bled where no wounds were ” .
” I am the enemy you killed , my friend ” a beautiful line towards the end of the poem . Although we stand in life different and enemies , but we shared the same experience and will share the same destiny . He closes the poem by saying ” let us sleep now ..” let us finally rest and forget the horrors and pains . So ironic of Owen to let his protagonist finally rest in ” Hell” . Aren’t people who fight for their countries are supposed to be martyrs and go to Heaven ? It is Owen’s way of doubting the cause which wars stand for , the cause after all is false . Owen by letting his two protagonist rest in Hell , he also conveys the message that Mankind must seek reconciliation , stop this bloodshed , they must embrace pity and love for each other . Owen writes this beautiful elegy that talks about war and death , but what is most ironical is that he himself dies in war .