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Disillusionment In Wilfred Owen

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Wilfred Owen is undoubtedly one of the greatest First World War poets, revealing the true horrors of the war and the appalling and horrendous impact that it had on those on the front line. Owen was not anti war; in fact he is well documented in stating that there was a place for war, volunteering himself to go to the front line. Unlike many of his predecessors, Owen did not glorify the War and ignorantly celebrate it, instead he became increasingly discontented with the purpose behind it. He began to loose confidence in the purpose of the War and his opinion on the War, having originally enlisted full of hope and jubilation, took a dramatic change. Owen questioned whether or not the ultimate sacrifices being made were really appreciated by those at home, whilst they glorified and encouraged the War. This essay aims to examine in detail how Owen depicts his disillusionment with the First World War through his poetry. It will focus on poems including, ‘Disabled’, ‘Anthem for the Doomed Youth’ ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’. I will focus on the literary techniques used by Owen throughout the poems including word choice, imagery and symbolism. I will examine how Owen uses these techniques to portray his increasing change in attitude towards to War and his disgust at the scale of human sacrifice. Wilfred Owen enlisted in 1915, soon joining the front line as a second lieutenant. Within a very short period of time, Owen had seen and suffered the true horrors of war, dramatically changing his outlook and interpretation of it. He soon developed a very conflicting attitude with the opinions of the War shared by those at home and portrayed by his predecessors such as Rupert Brooke, who glorified the War and saw it as a coming of age experience for t... ... middle of paper ... ...a of purpose however that Owen asks the reader to question. Despite initially being in favor of the War and the principles alluding to its outbreak, the monotonous suffering led Owen quickly to reconsider. Owen saw these young men who were able to employ such camaraderie, love and affection towards each other, completely obliterated. This was what he depicted in his poetry, the waste and the ruin of war. What Owen and all those on the Front Line witnessed, lived through and were subjected to could never be comprehended by those at home or future generations. Owen used his poetry to give voice to his disillusionment with the War and its cruelty on the human race. Owen does not look for naïve empathy in his poetry, instead I believe Owen wants to educate and share, as only in doing so will the prevention of such suffering and waste happen for future generations. ! ! !
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