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Wilfred Owen's Life And Accomplishments Essay

951 words - 4 pages

The First World War not only reshaped boundaries, watched empires rise and fall, but it also saw a drastic change in the literary art, and the view of war and all its “glory”. With authors such as Wilfred Owen, the world was beginning to get exposed to the brutality of war from the front line. Like most poets of his time, Owen wrote in the modern period. “And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs” (Dulce et Decorum Est). This gruesome line paints a picture of a gas attack. Although his life on earth was cut short, Owen has truly made a spot for himself among the greatest war poets in history.
Wilfred Owen, a British poet who served in WW1. Born in Oswestry, Shropshire in 1893. He was the eldest of four children. His younger years were spent in his grandfather's house where his family lived until Owen was four. In 1907 Owen and family moved to Shrewsbury, where Owen attended Shrewsbury Technical School. In he applied for a scholarship to University of London, upon being denied he went and studied under Herbert Wigen. In 1913 Owen returned home and taught at Berlitz School of Languages in Bordeaux. By then the war had started. In 1915 he enlisted in the Artists Rifle Company. “In 1916 he was commissioned lieutenant and left for the front later that year, with the Lancashire Fusiliers.” (“World”). In 1917 Owen was admitted to Craig Lockhart War Hospital for nervous disorders, severe migraines and shell-shock. About a month after Owen arrived Siegfried Sassoon, a “poetic hero” of Owens came to the same hospital. Upon becoming friends, Sassoon read Owen’s poems. In 1918, against Sassoons’ advice, Owen returned to France. He was shot on November 4th. The telegram announcing Owens death arrived only hours after the bell of the armstance rung out.

Stanza one and two, “Coughing like hags”, describing the moist condition. “We cursed through sludge”, describing the ground that was not mud, but clay, relieved only by craters full of water. “GAS! GAS!” (Owen) is a cry of warning, “Quick, boys! -An ecstasy of fumbling”(Owen), this is not a description of slow nerves but, it is a description of exhausted soldiers, “Men marched asleep... All went lame, all blind Drunk with fatigue” (Owen) and due to this extreme physical and mental exhaustion the soldiers are “deaf even to the hoots of gas-shells dropping softly behind.” (Owen) The 'ecstasy of fumbling' describes all the soldiers, waking from exhaustion into extreme fear, trying to hurriedly put on their gas masks to save their own lives. Lines 12-14 compares succumbing to poison gas to...

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