This paper seeks to address the literacy and stylistic issues presented in two texts. Specifically, an extract from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Wilfred Owens’s Dulce ET Est. Decorum. Initially, the paper will outline the prevailing social and historical contexts associated with the two texts. The principal purpose of this work is to address the themes common to both texts. For this to be achieved, an initial investigation and critique of both authors use of language will also need to be looked at.
Wilfred Owen was of a lower middle class background, he was the son of a railway worker who was the superintendent; he attended Shrewsbury Technical High School he had applied to go to the University Of London but was rejected. He worked as a lay preacher in his locality attending to the spiritual needs of the parishioners. He travelled to France to work as an English teacher within a French language school.
Whilst in France he decided to enlist in the army; he is quoted to have said “I have enlisted to help the boys as best I could.” This poem was written in Craiglockart Military Hospital in Scotland under the guidance of Siegfried Sassoon. At first glance, this poem may seem vehemently anti-war – but it actually directs most of its bitterness at the people who rally around the troops without ever understanding exactly what they're sending those troops off to do. Owen spent years on the battlefields. The poem itself wasn’t published until after the war, where Sassoon made sure that it was published. In dissimilarity to this, Mary Shelley was of the aristocratic background and was born in Somers Town, London, England on the 30th August 1797 She did a grand tour around Europe including Greece, Italy, and Rome studying culture, arts and literature. She married her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley who was a poet, when she was only 19. (Bibliography. Point 4)
During this time newspapers were full of stories of the recent discovery: electricity, which included how it could make dead frog’s legs twitch and appear as if the dead frog was still alive which could have influenced her writings within Frankenstein.
Stylistically Owen is hugely dependant upon the use of literary techniques. The stanzas of Dulce Et decorum est. disintegrates as the horror of war starts to mess with the speaker’s mind.
The first stanza falls into a neat eight-line pattern in an ABABCDCD rhyme scheme. Stanza two follows the pattern laid out by the first stanza however it breaks off abruptly to be continued in stanza three. In stanza three the last few lines aren’t in pentameter its almost as if it is mimicking the speaker’s inability to get war out of his head and the atrocities of the battleground.
The first most obvious device is his use of imagery and metaphors that have been used such as alliteration too such as B on the ‘bent double like old beggars’ and the M on the ‘Men marched asleep’ etc.
The most importantly device used, however, is Owens’s use of sarcasm which...