The Soldier By Wilfred Owen

1376 WordsMar 28, 20176 Pages
Participating in war often is romanticized and is seen as a heroic and honorable act. This romanticism, of course, can only be put forth by one who has never experienced the inhumane devastation that each battle- each moment- causes for the minds and in bodies of every soldier. “The Soldier” was written by Rupert Brooke in 1914, just before World War One was about to begin, while “Dulce et Decorum Est.” was written by Wilfred Owen in 1917, during which Word War One was being fought harshly. Due to “The Soldier” being written before the War began, this poem depicts an idealized perception of war in which the subject topically seems honored to die for his country, and content to know that the blood of his country’s men will be shed in…show more content…
Rupert, at this point, has yet to experience the War and is able to suppress his fears with these nationalistic viewpoints. He believes that he is ready to fight and that he is willing to die. Yet, there seems to be something deeper in his poem when Rupert begins talking about himself as “A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,/ Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam” (5-6). It is evident, in these lines, that England is a metaphor for his mother who “bore” him and gave him “her ways to roam”. It is in this transition that Rupert’s unease becomes apparent. Rupert as an outsider of war at this time, has allowed the reader to experience a romanticized sense of war, but the unease he feels has become evident throughout this poem. He has not experienced war first hand, but he is absolutely aware that the pain of war is not diminished when one sacrifices himself for his country. Rupert is afraid to die. He talks of England as his mother and shows a sense of dread to leave behind “dust” that his mother put so much love into. A quote from Stallworthy’s biography of Rupert leaves an eerie feeling behind. “...I wonder whether some of the unease that over the years has crept into readers’ response may not be related to a lack of conviction on the part of its author as he tried to convince himself of the existence of an afterlife in which he did not believe” (193).
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