The First World War Perceived To Be A Futile Waste Of Life In Poetry

2191 words - 9 pages

The First World War Perceived to be a Futile Waste of Life in Poetry

"The old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori," these words were
once uttered by the poet and soldier Wilfred Owen, this line needs to
be remembered as the poem is based on the idea of it as 'the old lie'
mocking the established belief of nationalism and duty to your
country, conveyed as patriotic propaganda to the people back at home
.How is it sweet and fitting to die for your country if nobody knows
about your death? The war was only meant to last till Christmas
however it dragged on for fourfutile years. Studying the poem "Dulce
et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen, "In An Underground Dressing Station"
by Siegfried Sassoon and "Clearing Station" by Wilhelm Klemm it is
definitely clear that the Great War was a waste of life, time and
effort. Though these poems were written by poets from opposing sides
these three men illustrated the fact that war only caused the
destruction of innocent lives. Klemm and Owen used powerful imagery to
show the reader that the war only degraded strong men and turned them
into victims of trench warfare, gas attacks and severe bullet wounds.
Sassoon also conveys the image of death, however he writes more
simplistically yet this works just as effectively as the gory details
in both Wilfred Owen and Wilhelm Klemm's poetry. These three men
quickly realized that dying out there in a far off land was a waste of
a life and was completely pointless. As each man aimed to get the
reality of war back home through their intense poetry .The British
Empire lost over 908,371 men who were willing to fight to gain self
respect and freedom for our country yet nobody cared about these men,
they were slaughtered on battlefields as if their sole purpose in life
was to be bred like cattle and killed.

"Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen, focuses on the absolute horror
experienced during World War I. Throughout the transition of this
poem, Owen portrays the reality of the battlefield and makes a direct
connection with one soldier ,dealing with the consequences of a gas
attack.The detailed descriptions of blood, guts and death are
overpowering, similarly Klemm uses this approach to convey the realism
and futility of war with graphic images of the injuries inflicted on
the soldiers, although his poem is set in a dank, disgusting and dingy
makeshift hospital. Sassoon also deals with the devastating effects of
war although he does not use disturbing imagery, to get the reality of
war across to his patriotic readers back at home. He describes a
filthy dressing station, which is meant to be a sanitary place where
their aim is to cure people that are wounded; however this is not the
case in both these poets writing. The injured and disabled soldiers
are left in these horrific hospitals and their only hope is...

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