Owen’s Poems Reveal Tenderness and Compassion

In: English and Literature

Submitted By LizT
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Owen’s poems reveal tenderness and compassion towards those whose lives have been destroyed by the war. Discuss.
Owen, in his war poetry reveals the awful reality of war and its effect on the young men involved. Given that these men are suffering in treacherous conditions, Owen expresses empathy towards the wretched soldiers who are fighting in a battle which they have little hope of surviving. Owen discloses his sympathy towards these young men by revealing the harsh conditions they live in and exposing their suffering both physical and mental. He exposes the reality of the war in an attempt to reveal the lives shattered to the unknowing public who do not know the true war conditions.
Owen at times shows the brutal reality of the war without showing any sympathy for their pain. The personal misery and suffering of the soldiers in “Dulce et Decorum Est” is made vivid through powerful metaphors. They are “drunk with fatigue” indicating that because of sheer exhaustion they are unsteady on their feet. The young are not seen as unified in an impeccably dressed troop of men, instead, they are now viewed as “beggars under sacks.” They are portrayed as old sick women: “coughing like hags.” Further, here is no dignity in death, the copses of the soldiers are “flung in[to a wagon].” They are likened to animals and are the fodder of war. Owen has described the stark reality of the moral of the men and the inhumanity of their treatment even in death. They are the victims of war and Owen feels their demoralising physical and emotional pain.
Owen uses imagery to evoke the horrendous conditions in the trenches. The soldiers have been broken not just by a human enemy but also by a hostile physical environment which they cannot escape. In “The Sentry”, Owen exposes the reader to the conditions in the trenches by involving all the reader’s senses so they can personally…...

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