The Themes Of War In Wilfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est

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Dulce et Decorum est
“Dulce et Decorum est” by Wilfred Owen attacks the naivety of the citizens whom support the war effort through depicting the hardship that soldiers experience whilst fighting. Through this attack, Owen contests the jingoistic campaigns in which exhorted young men to join the war effort. The deep irony of the poem’s title “Dulce et Decorum est”, bidding that is honorable to die for one’s country, is contrasted with horror and agony that could only be “dreamed” of. The poem’s central ideals express the diverse forms of physical pain and psychological trauma experienced on the front lines. Particularly, Owen elaborates on this pain through thematic focus on suffering, Owen takes the reader through the various stages of trauma and pain that soldiers are confronted with. Moreover, focus upon the irony of patriotism expresses Owen’s critical views on war propaganda and thus conveys its lack of truth. Finally, the idea of hopelessness and the uselessness of men demonstrates that lack of care present in jingoistic enlistment campaigns. These themes stir an emotional response from the reader, forcing them to question their perceptions of war and how they are manipulated.
Owen’s depiction of the various stages of horror and hopelessness that war brings provides insight into the reality of it, often misjudged by the public. Firstly, Owen employs hard consonants in the first line in order to express the harsh experience of war, depicting soldiers as “bent double”,

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