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Explore The Ways In Which Owen Shows You The Futility Of War In His Poems

1343 words - 5 pages

'Explore the ways in which Owen shows you the futility of war in his poems'Wilfred Owen was brought up in a very devout household, but it wasn't until he left his mother's house that he became skeptical of the role that the Church played in society. Owen enlisted in the January of 1917 and fought in the Battle of Somme, which was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire. The battle was one of the largest of World War One in which over 1 million men were wounded or killed making it one of humanity's bloodiest battles, until he suffered shell shock, and was sent to Craiglockhart hospital to recover in May of 1917. While in the hospital, he met Siegfried Sassoon, a fellow poet, who influenced much of Owen's later poetry. While in the hospital Owen experienced horrible nightmares due to the shell shock, and he would use these dreams as inspiration for his poetry. One image plagued his dreams, which was the idea that war was a sort of "mouth of hell," and it was this image that inspired Owen's poem 'Strange Meeting'.Wilfred Owen's main objective when writing his poetry is to shed light on the gruesome and horrific reality of being a soldier, which counters the nationalistic propaganda that depict soldiers as honorable, proud, and heroic. Many soldiers came home mentally and physically disabled, which is the exact opposite of what people expected.The poem 'Futility' opens with an indirect order to move a male body."Move him into the sun"Opening the poem with the word "Move" makes it seem much more personal as if we are there with them. It also sounds like the narrator is emotional about this situation, perhaps frustrated. It also suggests that something is wrong with this person because they can't move themselves. "Him" suggests that it happens a lot as it is a nameless word so the person is not unique and is just one of many which frustrates the narrator because he can't help that fact so he feels futile. By commanding to move someone into "the sun" it suggests that the narrator believes that the sun will help him, almost as if it's the last shred of hope, begging the sun to give this man another chance, to grow old naturally and not die on a battlefield without battling.The second line speaks of how the sun used to gently wake this man."Gently its touch awoke him once,"Opening the second line with the word "Gently" creates great contrast between the first line and second, it gives you an almost surreal feeling, perhaps a distant memory. "Gently" suggests a caring and motherly impression, whereas "Move" is a hard and cold word. Because of the previous line, we know that "Its" means the sun, however followed by "Touch" it's a different sun than in the previous verse, nothing is asking or begging it to help, it's being kind of its own accord, it's been personified. "Awoke him once" concludes the thought of this being a distant memory. The voice at the back of your mind hoping that...

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