Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen and The Hurt Locker by Brian Turner are captivating and heartbreaking examples of great antiwar poems. Wilfred Owens and Brian Turners first hand experiences of the traumatic horrors of war make their writings overwhelmingly effective. Their poems both express how war is physically and mentally damaging and their words paint vivid pictures of the unspeakable realities of war such as suicide bombers, and the use of mustard gas among other weapons. These poems force the reader to see war for what it really is and not for what it was said to be. Even though Owens and Turners writings are both anti war themed each writer takes a different approach to it. Owens approach to the theme is centered on details and reliving the trauma he has gone through. He pinpoints something that has tortured him and gruesomely describes it. He captures the suffering of a soldier and those who witnessed it as well as addressing those who idolize war. Turner on the other hand takes a direct and bold approach to force the people who haven’t actually lived through war to face the reality of it. Both poems convey the antiwar message, however Owens poem Dulce et Decorum Est approaches the theme more effectively because transitions in the tone throughout the poem, the technical strategies in the writing, and the powerful and detailed use of imagery.
Owens change in tone throughout the poem is effective, because it takes the reader through the emotional state of the soldiers. In the beginning of the poem the tone is weary. The soldiers are feeling tired, trudging through to distant rest (4). With words such as fatigue, marched asleep, limped on, blood-shod Owen creates a worn out ambiance. At ...
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... probably means a painful place deep within you where all the physical and emotional pain goes locked away but it never leaves.
Both poems expose the realities of war and how traumatic it can be. Both Turner and Owen have had first hand experiences of the horrors of warfare. They felt the pain and saw the violence, the hurt. They gave voice to the traumas they lived through; by doing this they forced people visualize what war really is and hopefully cautioned people to rethink their perspectives.
Owen, Wilfred, “Dulce et Decorum Est”, Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Diana Gioia, 12 ed. New York: Pearson, 2013. Print
Turner Brian, “ The Hurt Locker”, Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Diana Gioia, 12 ed. New York: Pearson, 2013. Print
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