The Theme of Death in War in The Rich Dead and Dulce et Decorum Est Essay

The Theme of Death in War in The Rich Dead and Dulce et Decorum Est Essay

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The Theme of Death in War in The Rich Dead and Dulce et Decorum Est by Wildred Owen and Rupert Brooke's The Rich Dead



It seems that war in society is inevitable - for long as it has been
historically documented, war has always been present. Although the
tactics by which wars have been fought and won have developed
throughout the ages, the outcome has always remained the same - with
the untimely deaths of many men. It is this idea of war that has
provoked intense controversy, with many people believing it merely
results with death and destruction, whilst others regard it as a
glorious enterprise and an altogether heroic adventure. During the
First World War, poets depicted these diverse aspects of war, with the
opposing attitudes clearly recognised in the work of Wilfred Owen and
Rupert Brooke. Owens anthology of war poetry is characterised by his
vivid and graphic detail concerning war and all its brutal
consequences. He also revolts against pro-war propagandists, not only
denouncing their beliefs but also by the way they brainwashed naïve
young boys into believing it was honourable to die for your country.
One such advocate of this idea was Rupert Brooke, his work
recognisable by a profound sense of patriotism. He wrote to depict the
courage and excitement of war rather than the harsh realities staring
them in the face, by means to entice young men into enrolling in the
army. This is exactly what Owen was objecting to.

I have chosen to study in depth the poems-'Dulce Et Decorum Est' by
Wilfred Owen-an ironically titled poem portraying the wasteful
futility of young lives lost at war and 'The Rich Dead' by Rupert
Brooke-a poem honouring the death of a war hero. I feel that both
poems effectively r...


... middle of paper ...


...he poem. Owen strives to provide a more realistic image of the
wholly unavoidable human suffering that war brings. I think the
following line from the song "The Green Fields of France" reflects
this image accurately when the writer describes his feelings while
standing in a World War One graveyard:

"To a man's blind indifference to his fellow man,

To a whole generation who were butchered and damned"

Rupert Brooke's work on the other hand is aiming to paint a pretty
picture of the harsh realities of war. Although in theory the romantic
principles presented by Brooke may seem attractive, to apply them to
real life is nave and idealistic. War might bring glory on a wider
scale, but to claim that a soldier's needless death in appalling
conditions is honourable is simply untrue. War may well be inevitable
but it is senseless and can never be justified.

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