In your response, make detailed reference to “Futility” and ONE other of Wilfred Owen’s poems set for study.
The purpose of poetry is to convey the meaning and understanding of the composer. Wilfred Owen conveys meaning in his poetry through the concept of pity as experienced through war. In his poems, “Futility” and “Strange Meeting”, Owen subverts the traditional impression of war as being gallant and patriotic and instead utilises his first-hand experience of war and the experience of soldiers as a collective, to affirm his own understanding and concern of war. In doing this, Owen delves into the everlasting effect of war on the individual, the foundation of pity, and the impact that withholding the truth has on those subjected to the trauma of war.
The effects of intense human experiences, such as war, remain etched in the human psyche longer than the suffering itself. Throughout “Strange Meeting”, the everlasting scars of trauma are shown through the idea that “none will break ranks” as soldiers have been conditioned into understanding that it is not the norm. Even at the close of the war, the soldiers won’t leave the battlefield even though entire “nations trek from progress” because it is not the etiquette of battle. Instead they will wait to be slaughtered as all others had been and as Owen was too, a few days before the declared armistice of World War I. It is the effect of Owen using his own personal experience that contributes to his understanding of “the pity of war”. The alliteration in the line “foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were” highlights that soldiers as a collective...
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...wen confided “my subject is war and the pity of war” and at the time, the apparent pity of war was the truth untold in that war was supposedly heroic. Owen portrays the effect of the untold truth in his line “courage was mine and I had mystery; wisdom was mine and I had mastery” during his poem “Strange Meeting”. The anaphoras in the repetition of “was mine” emphasises and draws attention to the meaning of a change in understanding of the line. The personal pronoun of “I” aids in placing Owen directly into his poetry so that he can gain closure from his experiences and prove that his opinion of war, although not similar of the time period, has accurate grounding because of his first-hand experience. It depicts that the time he was courageous was the time he was ignorant and once he gained wisdom through experience, he was able to understand the true nature of war.
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