Essay about Analysis Of ' Strange Meeting ' By Wilfred Owen

Essay about Analysis Of ' Strange Meeting ' By Wilfred Owen

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Hell: a Place of Paradoxes and Pity
In “Strange Meeting,” Wilfred Owen presents readers with an unusual description of a soldier’s experience in hell. As the speaker escapes from battle, he proceeds down a long tunnel where he hears the groans of sleepers and is met by another soldier with a “dead smile.” As a soldier of the First World War, Owen writes out of his personal experience, one of physical, moral and psychological trauma. The melancholic nature of the poem results from the specific form and meter in which Wilfred Owen brilliantly writes, and in turn gives the poem a dreamlike sensation. The title of this poem is not the only thing that is strange, as Owen maintains this theme through irony as well as the paradoxical and ambiguous tone of his poem.
When one thinks of war, the word hero comes to mind, as well as words such as ‘courageous,’ and ‘brave.’ Owen plays with this idea in the poem as it is written in heroic couplets, but ironically being a hero is the exact opposite of what the poem is about, “I am the enemy you killed, my friend” implies a rather unheroic act (Owen 40). The couplets of the poem take the form of irregular Iambic Pentameter with slant rhyme, which makes the lines seem imperfect, much like human beings. Every two lines, a whole new set of slant rhymes appears and in turn suggests the persona is coming to new realizations as his meeting in hell progresses. Slant rhymes like “hall/Hell,” “moan/mourn,” and “hair/hour” poke holes in the heroic perfection war arouses.
The poem is appropriately written in the form of an elegy which is a mournful, melancholic lament for the dead. However, due to the enigmatic nature of Owen’s poem, the reader is not sure who is dead and whether or not the narrator is ...


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... of its destruction, and is seen as the most horrendous out of the two Great Wars because of trench warfare. This poem explores a strange meeting and an even stranger fate for the innocent victims of war. Today, we study famous poets of the First World War such as John McCrae, Alan Seeger, and Isaac Rosenberg, because they captivate the horrors of war and help today’s society realize the mass destruction “titanic wars had groined” (3). I believe I fell in love with Owen’s poem because it doesn’t glorify war or make it out to be heroic. It accurately illustrates the cruel and inhumane experiences of soldiers during the wars, and the many ‘strange friends’ that managed to ‘escape’ to death in Hell.
Word count: 1,104








Bibliography
Mays, Kelly J. Owen, Wilfred. “Strange Meeting.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. 11th ed. London: W.W Norton, 2011. 604-605.

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