Essay on The Horror Of World War 1 Shaped Europe

Essay on The Horror Of World War 1 Shaped Europe

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The horror of world war 1 shaped Europe politically but also the literary landscape. Owen 's voice now acclaimed for its insight and honesty was forged in the trenches but also in the way he had to change his poetry to express the brutality. Barker writing a lot later touches on many of the same themes; the universality of the horror still relevant but literature giving her a more modern toolkit to explore it.


The war influenced Barker and Owen, to write stories about their understandings of what went on in the war. The war not only changed the country but changed the minds of the men fighting in the war and this is shown in the literature of Barker and Owen. The war seriously affected the men of the war by either leaving physical or emotional damage that completely changed their lives. Firstly, the physically scarred men due to the loss of limbs or weakened lungs from the gas and bombs and secondly emotionally due to the aftershock and terror that’s imprinted into the minds of the men. The main issue explored in ‘Disabled’ is what the horrors of the war can do to a person 's physical and mental state. In ‘Disabled’ the man is already in an inferior state as he is ‘sat in a wheeled chair’ suggesting he is isolated much like in Mental Case where although there are more men in the situation, there is no interaction or compassion just soldiers encompassed in fear and isolation.


The language Owen uses in Disabled fluctuates from one extreme to another when describing the soldier’s present life and the days as a young, healthy man. At both extremes Owen keeps the words simple most likely in order for readers to understand resulting in them empathising with the simple yet creative language. In line 6 ‘sleep’ is personified ‘Till ...


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...e gets for being in the war because life is very different in the actually war compared to the depiction of it back in the country where they need to recruit and give news of the war. ‘Sassoon turned to look out of the window, hunching his shoulder against them all’ Barker expands on the idea much like Owen that war should not be celebrated and that unless you have been there you won’t understand why because it is wrong to celebrate death, when the way they have been killed is far from something to celebrate. In ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ Owen explores the idea that men would ‘die as cattle’ and ‘mockeries’ which insinuates the insulting of ceremonies because Christian religion and loving God can have nothing to do with this many deaths questioning faith and religion, however much like Barker they wouldn’t want to be admired anyway as there is no celebration of death.

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