Revealing The Theme Of War By Wilfred Owen

  • Words 830
  • Pages 2
Download PDF

War is seen as a terrifying event, often resulting in mass numbers of deaths. In Wilfred Owen’s poems, Owen tells the various parts of World War 1, reflecting through his own personal experiences. He dives into the horrors of war, changes in weaponry and the changed conditions on the battlefront to illustrate the hideous parts of World War 1. Owen attempts to send a message, revealing war as unheroic and not worthy to die for.

Owen offers his personal experience in his poetry to describe the prolonged terrors the battles have. In “Dulce et Decorum Est”, he illustrates the deathly image of war with “Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs” to give a realistic sensation of war and to paint the gruesome moments of war. Owen interprets this visual imagery “devil’s sick of sin”, by painting the torture and inhumanity of war. The negative connotations “vile” and “bitter” reinforce the horror the situation soldiers endure. In “Anthem for doomed youth”, Wilfred Owen unveils the sad fact of men slaughtered in mass numbers with the simile “for these who die as cattle”. He uses “stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle”, an alliteration with hard sounds, to describe the constant sounds of the guns firing. The sonnet structure of “Anthem for doomed youth” is used to indicate the honourable who died but also lost every sense of glory. Owen demonstrates his beliefs of war within his poems to reveal the petrifying and intimidating images of war.

Click to get a unique essay

Our writers can write you a new plagiarism-free essay on any topic

The evolution of the weapons of war exists to be scary. The change in weaponry in World War 1 is presented within Owen’s poem, describing the terrifying moments that weapons are capable of creating. The minor sentences “Gas! Gas! Quick boys!” creates a frenzy of action reflecting the tension and urgency of the soldiers as they struggle to fit on their masks. . The “gas” is broken further down, painting the image of the people suffering from the “gas” with “As under a green sea, I saw him drowning”. In “Anthem for doomed youth”, the personification of “the shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells” vividly interprets the vicious atmosphere in World War 1. Another personification, “the monstrous anger of the guns”, is used to illustrate the rapid firing of the bullets from the guns. Wilfred Owen demonstrates the change of weapons as terrifying and destructive, sending a terrible image of war.

The battlefront in world war 1 is a dangerous place, filled with horrible and dreadful conditions. Owen portrays the war field as grim and horrendous. In “Dulce Et Decorum Est”, assonance is used within “Many had lost their boots but limped on, blood-shod”, to depict the determination of the soldiers of World War 1. The simile “Knock-kneed, coughing like hags” suggests the soldiers are like old women, emphasizing the distance of walking. As well as a simile, it is also a negative connotation, demonstrating the treacherous conditions of World War 1. The rhyme of “sludge” and “trudge” indicates the harsh environment the fighters walkthrough, depicting the disgusting and cruel part of war. Soldiers living a homeless and impoverished life on the battlefront is suggested by the simile “Like old beggars under sacks”. Within the poem “Anthem of Doomed Youth”, the negative connotation “No mockeries for them” displays the soldier’s disconnection to humanity. Owen illustrates the hellish state the soldiers endure through the personification of “Demented choirs of wailing shells”. The petrifying and horrendous conditions on the battlefront is displayed a negative image of war, painted by Wilfred Owen.

The glory of war is something not worth the many lives of soldiers. Wilfred Owen shows of how the belief of fighting for one’s country is displayed as an incorrect answer and a regretful decision. He uses the metaphor “Men marched asleep” to create an image of the men as zombies, walking as if they were dead. “The old lie; Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori” consists of archaic language and irony, displaying the bitter rejection of patriotic ideals and addressing patriotic writers with disgust. Inside the poem “Anthem of Doomed Youth”, “And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds” illustrates an ending to the soldier’s lives, implying they’re dying away from their home. The rhetorical question “What candles may be held to speed them all?” is used as a symbol for the commemoration of the soldiers. The “candles” are used by those who affected the soldiers’ deaths in an attempt to honor those killed in action. Owen depicts the belief of “it is ok to die for your country” as unjust, discouraging people from participation of any war.

In conclusion, Wilfred Owen reveals war as terrifying and horrific, involving the deaths of many soldiers. He attempts to show that war bears many consequences and fighting in war as a wrong choice. The suffocating conditions of war from gas to the ground is displayed as extremely uncomfortable within Owen’s poems. His ideas within his legendary writings are used to state that war is a horrifying event, not worthy to participate in.     


We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.