Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen Essays

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Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

In the poem, 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen, the social
climate of the World War I era is reflected through the poet's use of
vivid imagery and poetic techniques. The poem itself presents an a
blunt impression of the world through its linking of ideas and
language in its text. The poem addresses the falsehood that war is
glorious, that it is noble, it describes the true horror and waste
that is war, with the aim of changing the way in which society thinks
about conflict.

The poem epitomises the futility and pointlessness of war. Not only is
war a shocking waste of life, but it is ultimately barbarous and
pointless act
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Perhaps to feel the emotions as
Owen would himself. The poet helps this by precisely describing the
surroundings and encouraging particularly sinister and dark emotions
to surface. The vivid similes: 'obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud,'
encourage a sickening reaction to the notion of actively engaging in
battle. The idea of cancer represents the 'terminal' results and
finality of war. Owen suggests that men who are sent to fight are
being sent to their death; something as inevitable as death from
cancer. The slow and painful death associated with cancer is likened
to dying on the battlefield where those who aren't killed instantly
are left to suffer horribly. Just like Owen’s gassed soldier.

The futility of war is shown in the first part of the poem where we
see the soldiers, fatigued and wounded, returning to base camp when a
gas attack is launched on them:

'Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots...
Gas! Gas! Quick boys!

The slow and steady movement of time felt whilst reading the beginning
of this extract is due to the subdued and disheartening attitude of
the soldiers. The placement of words directly reflects the fatigue
felt by the weary boys. The image of them marching slowly, bloody and…