Wilfred Owen Horror Of War Analysis

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World War one and two. Both these wars stole many young men’s lives from them. Stole sons from their mothers. Stole brothers from their sister but also stole many innocent lives in the process. An estimated 60 million lives lost and for what? For land, for power, wealth. War is brutal, gruesome, costly and pointless. What good could possibly come from a war? The truth is without these wars, the world of literature wouldn’t be the same. These wars bought rise to names such as Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, and Edward Thomas. Among all that death, destruction, and calamity; somehow great poets were born.
Today I’m focusing on Wilfred Owen who is also recognized as the greatest English poet of the First World War. Owen volunteered to fight on 21 October 1915. Like many young men, propaganda had gotten the best of him, but he would soon experience first handedly the true horrors of war. Owen wrote of the disillusionment he, like others, felt at the time. He wrote out of his intense personal experience as a soldier and wrote with unrivalled power about the physical, moral and psychological trauma of the First World War. Nothing could have prepared Owens for the shock of war: for life in the trenches, sickness, death.
Owens work can be defined by his use of language to transport the reader to the frontline of the war. His works evoke great emotion in the reader to empathize with feelings and circumstances of the soldiers he wrote about at the time. In his poem, Disabled, Owen shows the life of a soldier after the impacts of war as many soldiers were left without limbs. In the eyes of society, they were no longer fully human. He depicts how they were treated as outcasts, ostracized and left to die a lonely death:
While he was still recov...

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... Instead of idealizing war in a romantic way, war poets such as Wilfred Owen aimed to expose gruesome truths about these wars and how they impacted lives. It points a finger and criticizes the governments and authorities that wage these wars but don’t fight in them themselves but rather watch as lives are lost. It exposes propaganda for what it is, a tool for brainwashing. It puts into question the notion of dying for ones country to be noble, honourable and admirable.
This type of writing interests me because it was used as a tool to open people’s eyes to the brutality of war. In a way it protested and spoke up against this injustice and most importantly gave a voice to the people who became the biggest victims of war – the soldiers themselves.
I’d like to end off by giving you an example of what some call the greatest of Wilfred Owens work: Anthem of Doomed Youth.
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