Wilfred Owens Poetry Vs Platoon

Wilfred Owens Poetry Vs Platoon

Length: 1534 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
1. Within each text the setting plays an important part. How do both Stone and Owen convey the setting and the conditions the men faced? (Don’t forget you must refer to specific lines and poetic/film, techniques)

Naturally it is a lot easier to convey the desired setting of a scene if the medium used involved visual concepts. However, Wilfred Owens poetry manages to give the reader an extremely vivid idea of what the conditions were like for the people whom he describes. Like Oliver Stone, in his movie Platoon, Owen uses some very simple concepts to set the scene in his writing, such as mud, or loud noises, which convey not only the setting, but also the mood that goes with it. For example, in the poem Duce et Decorum Est, in the lines

“Gas! Gas! Quick. Boys! –An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets on just in time”

This excerpt not only give the reader a clear idea of what is physically happening in the trenches, but the language used and in particular, the incoherent shouting in the first line also implies the confusion of the situation, as if the author can recall no more than a blur of it.

Oliver Stone also uses techniques to imply confusion, such as when the platoon are attacked in the jungle scenes; the camera frequently changes perspective (from long-shots to close-ups) as well as focus, and is often jolting suddenly as if it is from the perspective of one of the soldiers running.

The movie Platoon also uses light against darkness to represent good and evil, or even at time to imply the emotion and fear which the characters are feeling. For example, the eerie, blue light, which is noticeable in the jungle scene, gives the scene an air of unfamiliarity, which is also reflected on the emotions of the characters’ faces.

Despite these good points, it is clear that Platoon does not have the realistic scenarios that Wilfred Owen brings forth in his poetry. This is probably because Owen’s work was written while he was actually fighting in the First World War, and his poems often seem as if they are recollections of the actual events. Oliver Stone on the other hand has served very little time, if any at all, and the movie is no more than a chimerical expression of his feelings toward the American attitude of the Vietnam War.

One parallel between the graphic scenes of Platoon and the poetic description shown in Wilfred Owens work can be seen in the constant battle against the natural elements that is shown in both examples.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Wilfred Owens Poetry Vs Platoon." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Apr 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=96833>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Wilfred Owen

- Wilfred Owen Read and Compare and Contrast the Following Poems by Wilfred Owen: [It Was a Navy Boy], Anthem for Doomed Youth and Dulce et Decorum Est. Wilfred Owen was a poet who was widely regarded as one of the best poets of the World War one period. Wilfred Owen was born on the 18th of March 1893, at Plas Wilmot, Oswestry, on the English Welsh border; he was the son of Tom and Susan Owen. During the winter of 1897-8 Tom Owen, Wilfred’s father was reappointed to Birkenhead, and with that the whole family moved there....   [tags: Poets Poetry Literature Essays]

Research Papers
3881 words (11.1 pages)

World War I Poetry with Emphasis on Wilfred Owens Essay examples

- World War I spanned four years, from June 1914 to June 1918. During this war, technological advances increased the danger for the soldiers who took part in battle. Poison gas and trench warfare transformed World War I into a cesspool of sickness and death. Poetry during World War I provided a way to connect people back home with the horrific lifestyle soldiers had to face on a daily basis. Poets such as Wilfred Owens used vivid imagery, dire diction, and other literary devices to depict the grueling tasks of warfare....   [tags: history of literature]

Research Papers
990 words (2.8 pages)

Wilfred Owens 's Work Of War Essay

- The deafening sound of shelling and the rattling of gun fire seeing your fellow brother fall before your feet the grim life to live during World War One. Wilfred Owens, another man thrown into a war in the nation’s time of need. Many would clam up and keep to themselves after the war, but not Wilfred. He was a renounced poet, and while he was bunkered down from gunfire or shelling, he found time to write his experiences and the poetry everyone has to come to know. He wrote much of his poetry on the stance of the war and the horrors of being in the middle of it....   [tags: Poetry, World War II, Writing, World War I]

Research Papers
1227 words (3.5 pages)

Wilfred Owen's Poetry and War Essay

- Wilfred Owen's Poetry and War Wilfred Owen is now seen as one of the most important of the many poets of the First World War. He was born the son of a railway worker in Shropshire, and educated at schools in Shrewsbury and Liverpool. His devoted mother encouraged his early interests in music and poetry. When he could not afford a university education, he went abroad to teach English in France. He was there when war broke out in 1914, and decided to return to England to volunteer for the army. After training, he became an officer and was sent to France at the end of 1916, seeing service first in the Somme sector....   [tags: Wilfred Owen Poetry Poems War Essays]

Research Papers
2646 words (7.6 pages)

Essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poetry

- Wilfred Owen's War Poetry If Wilfred Owen's war poetry had one main aim, it would be to expose "the old lie": that war is always a good and justified thing and that it is a good thing to die for one's country. Owen had experienced first hand the horrors and tragedies of the First World War, so he inevitably wanted to break open the false façade and let the world know the truth. I am going to explore what I find to be three of his best poems and show how he achieved this aim. Owen was born on the 18th of March 1893 in Shropshire, England....   [tags: Wilfred Owen War Poetry Poems Literature Essays]

Research Papers
2786 words (8 pages)

Wilfred Owen's Poetry and Pity of War Essay

- Wilfred Owen's Poetry and Pity of War Through his poetry Wilfred Owen wished to convey, to the general public, the PITY of war. In a detailed examination of three poems, with references to others, show the different ways in which he achieved this Wilfred Owen was born in Oswestry, 18th March 1893. He was working in France when the war began, tutoring a prominent French family. When the war started he began serving in the Manchester Regiment at Milford Camp as a Lieutenant. He fought on the Western Front for six months in 1917, and was then diagnosed with War Neurosis (shell shock)....   [tags: Wilfred Owen War Poems Essays]

Research Papers
3681 words (10.5 pages)

Essay on Wilfred Owen's Poetry

- Wilfred Owen's Poetry In this essay, I have decided to analyse two poems by the war poet Wilfred Owen, taken from his writings on the First World War. Both of these poems ('Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'Anthem for Doomed Youth') portray Owen's bitter angst towards the war, but do so in very different ways. Owen developed many of his poetic techniques at Craiglockhart Military Hospital, where he spent much of the war as an injured soldier, but it was only through the influence of fellow soldier and poet, Siegrfried Sassoon, that he began capturing his vivid visions of the war in the form of poetry....   [tags: Wilfred Owen Poets Poems Poetry Essays]

Research Papers
2131 words (6.1 pages)

Wilfred Owen's War Poetry Essay

- 1. Introduction Trudging through ravaged landscapes with rooted out trees, blood and mud everywhere, trenches infested with rats, half filled with water and with corpses – these were the circumstances in which some 8,700,000 lives had been lost during the First World War. However, this reality was long kept from the knowledge of the civilians at home, who continued to write about the noble pursuit of heroic ideals in old patriotic slogans (Anthology 2012: 2017). Those poets who were involved on the front soon realized the full horror of war, which is reflected in their poetic techniques, diction, and imaginations....   [tags: WWI, English poetry, Sassoon]

Research Papers
1229 words (3.5 pages)

A Comparison of Wilfred Owens' Disabled and Exposure Essay

- A Comparison of Wilfred Owens' Disabled and Exposure Tension and disability. A comparison between two poems, all of which are about war and the effects on the mind. Owen talks about World War 1 and how it can affect different people in different ways, his feelings are echoed in the form of characters. Both poems show how companionship almost ends due to war, all the old friends either die or never see you again. The endings and startings in each poem have the same effect; they leave the reader with a question; is war necessary....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1486 words (4.2 pages)

Wilfred Owen and his Pity of War Essay

- Through His Poetry Wilfred Owen Wished to Convey, to the General Public, the Pity of War. In a Detailed Examination of these Poems, With Reference to Others, Show the Different ways in which He achieved this. Wilfred Owen fought in the war as an officer in the Battle of the Somme. He entered the war in January of 1917. However he was hospitalised for war neurosis and was sent for rehabilitation at Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh that May. At Craiglockhart he met Siegfried Sassoon, a poet and novelist whose grim antiwar works were in harmony with Wilfred Owen's concerns....   [tags: Wilfred Owen Poems Poetry War Literature Essays]

Free Essays
3001 words (8.6 pages)

For example in Platoon, the men find themselves being stalked by the enemy in a maze like jungle, in humid conditions which would be totally unfamiliar to the American soldiers. Similarly, the men in poems such as The Sentry base their warfare in the wet and muddy trenches of France, which multiplies the difficulty of fighting. Although these two scenarios are somewhat different, they do show similarities in that the men are in a constant battle, not only against the legitimate enemy, but also against the forces of nature.

2. How do both men make use of symbolism and imagery to convey their ideas about war?
Symbolism is a very powerful tool to use when trying to influence and captivate an audience. It is a technique that is employed in nearly all types of media and is particularly noticeable as well as affective in descriptive works. Due to the fact that Platoon is directed at a more general audience, the symbolism and imagery examples are a lot less subtle than that which is shown in the powerful poetry of Wilfred Owen, which was created to educate people, and not to sell at the box office.

Owens symbolism is often so delicate that the reader may not always consciously recognise it, yet it helps to immensely in creating the atmosphere of the poem. For example in the poem Futility, the sun seems to represent life, and in The Sentry, light is used as an assimilation to hope, which can be seen in the passage “…we heard him shout; ‘I see your lights!’ But ours had long died out.” These lines are an example of the slight nature of Owens imagery, as it can be looked upon as if the light that has died out represents the hope of the group, or as if it is simply the blinded soldier trying to reassure himself that he can still see.

Overall, Owens criticism seems to be a very broad condemnation of war, whereas Oliver Stone simply attacks the Americans attitudes towards the Vietnam War and the fighting that occurred between the different groups of Americans. The examples of imagery in Platoon show this, as they do not really relate to the war itself, but the characters in the movie. For example, Alius seems to display some strong allusions to Jesus Christ, such as his tragic death pose with his hands outstretched similar to the image of Jesus dieing on the cross.


3. Via which medium is character expressed more vividly? Give detailed reasons for your answer.
One main contrast between the movie Platoon and the poems of Wilfred Owen is that Owen does not tend to focus on the individual characters featured in his poems. This is partly because it is hard to receive a detailed understanding of a character in only one or two stanzas of poetry, especially when compared to the length of a feature film. Another major contributor to the lack of description of the characters in Wilfred Owens poetry is that the nature of his criticisms does not require an in-depth description of the soldiers, but it is the settings and the events that occurred in the trenches that are more important.

Oliver Stone's movie Platoon focuses on the characters and their relationship with each other instead of the fighting in the war itself, this gives Stone a need to go into great detail in his description of the characters, which presents a major contrast between the two examples.

This means that despite the fact that Oliver Stone does not have the descriptive talent shown by Wilfred Owen, his characters are described a lot more vividly. Yet still, Stone's descriptions show some obvious flaws; some of the characters in Platoon seem quite transparent, and at times, even stereotypical, for example the differences between Alius and Barnes is a distinct battle between pure good and pure evil.

From the most blatant point, the characters in Platoon are a lot more accessible, as they are shown in a visual based medium, and can be judged by what they look like. This makes it easy for viewers to a get their own impression of the characters (which may not be at all accurate) simply by watching a few minutes of the film.


4. Which medium did you find more accessible in terms of conveying themes and a message about the war?

Although the movie Platoon is set in the Vietnam war, it does not seem to contain any messages directly relating to the moral issues of war, but instead it attacks the split-cultured attitudes which were present at the time. Also, it can be debated that the movie is a very general metaphor for the consistent battle between good and evil. Wilfred Owen on the other hand, very rarely focuses on general philosophy, and instead concentrates purely on condemning those who promote war, and attempting to educate those who ignorantly believe that fighting for ones country is noble.

The themes that Oliver Stone does present are usually quite relevant and accessible, for example the consistent theme of the arguing that goes on between the soldiers when they should be fighting the true enemy. However, these rarely compare to the motivating images and vivid thoughts that are brought forward in Wilfred Owens poetry. A classic example of the messages that Owen presents can be seen in the poem Dulce et Decorum Est, which includes the sarcastic usage of the Latin phrase "Dulce et decorum est; Pro patria mori", which roughly translates to "It is noble and brave to die for ones country".

Owen occasionally delves into philosophical arguments, which although present a broader message, are still debating the same issues. Examples of this method can be seen in the poem Futility:

Was it for this the clay grew tall?
-O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's slap at all?

These lines are questioning whether it was worth the sun creating the earth, if it was going to lead to the destruction of war. This is particularly powerful as it uses a direct approach to the reader, as if questioning for his or her own opinion.

Platoons main message can be seen at the very end of the film, when Chris is reminiscing and considering his experiences in the war. It focuses on the fact that he was constantly fighting with other members of the platoon instead of the Vietnamese. Yet, although the scenes of Platoon hold a powerful message, it seems clear that the work of Wilfred Owen is far more realistic and relevant when compared to the movie.
Return to 123HelpMe.com