Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Pateria Mori...Or Is It?

1132 words - 5 pages

Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori(Or is it?)Despite the government's knowledge of the intense horrors of war, they persist on sending innocent soldiers onto the battlefield. Two pieces of literature used to describe these intense horrors are the novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and the poem Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen. Both authors, soldiers of WWI, write about their experience in the war and both pieces of work convey a strong meaning and persuasive argument. In both the novel and the poem, there is a theme of patriotism that the soldiers show by giving up their lives to serve there country. However, both the book and poem also give reason to oppose the war, such as having to watch your comrade's die as well as soldiers fighting for no personal reasons. In spite of that, these guiltless children are sent off to fight a war that means nothing to them solely for their country and it's demanding government. In All Quiet on the Western Front, the reader is told that the boys were conned into joining the war by their teacher. They are told that it is there patriotic duty to aid their country in its great time of need. "I can see him now, as he used to say in a moving voice: "Won't you join up, Comrades?""(11). Their superiors shamed them into fighting in the war. The government needed volunteers to fight a government's battle. They needed men to go out, kill, die, and sacrifice for an unidentified reason. In the beginning these new recruits were all for the war and fighting for the country, but as the novel progresses they realize that it is not nearly as wonderful as it is made out to be. The boys were willing to do it nonetheless because they were told joining was the "right" thing to do. These soldiers were told that they would be legends in their country. Little did they know that there legend would be marked in death. Similar to All Quiet on the Western Front, the poem Dulce et Decorum est proves, by its title alone, that it should be noble and glorious to die for your country, should being the key word. The soldiers are told by their elders that "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" which means it is sweet and becoming to die for ones country. But as stated in the last line, this is a lie that you never want to brag about. As righteous as they are told it is to fight a war for their country, these naïve boys have no reason to fight, other then the inspiration of their advisors. Although these boys are showing immense patriotism, there are several reasons why they are against the war. The poem graphically describes a man falling at the expense of shell gas and the horror of the soldiers having to witness it. This is only one reason proven in the poem. Another would be the lines "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge."(1,2). This not only says that they are tired, but that they are so tired they have been brought down to the...

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