World War I was considered one of the greatest Wars in history. Throughout this time period, the reactions and effects of the war were translated into poetry. One such author, Wilfred Owen, used his experiences while fighting in the war to bring to light the horrors of it. Two of his most recognized poems, “Anthem for Doomed Youth” and “Insensibility”, reflect the reality of the fear of death and fighting which were present in the soldiers during the war.
For many of the soldiers who fought in the war, their lives would be tormented from the effects the war had on them. By the end of the war, Owen had faced the many horrors of the war and as a result, had developed some psychological disorders. One of these disorders was known as “shell-shock”. This disorder would be what influenced the ideas present in Owen’s poem “Insensibility”. At this point, Owen had faced the death of many of his comrades, and each time his thoughts were the same. “…not that they have died in vain, but that they have died without ceremony” (Cash). Owen believed the war to be one which was fought in vain. While these men were risking their lives for their country, they did not fully understand why they were fighting. This war would take everything from them, including their ability to have a proper funeral. Owen goes through his poem defining the different feelings the men are capable of feeling due to the “insensibility” of the war. In stanza II, Owen states one of the biggest problems the men seem to face, “And some cease feeling. Even themselves or for themselves” (Owen). The horror of the war has left the men feeling numb. They no longer believe they are capable of making it out alive or if they have the ability to help their comrades save...
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...“And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds” (Owen). The only sense of hope for Owen is featured in this last line. “…Owen envisions them leaving the world slowly…a kind of slow death” (Constantakis). While they have lost the hope, of a better future, they have become accustomed to hoping they will die before they have to spend another day fighting in the war. Owen’s tone implies the men did not see the war the same way the people at home saw it. At home, the citizens believed the war was being fought to build a better future for their country, one where their children would grow up free from the terrors of war. Instead, they have sent the men to face the horrors they may have faced. However, as time progresses the men see no reason to be fighting this war. They no longer believe in a better tomorrow, they now believe in a tomorrow which they will not have to face.
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