Wilfred Owen – Term 2 Essay
‘Owen struggled with religion throughout his life’. How are these struggles shown in the two poems that we have studied?
In Wilfred Owen’s poem, ‘The Unreturning’, the audience is concerned with Owen’s perspective of the nature of death. Catholicism was a faith that Owen struggled to have faith in; his philosophy in ‘life after death’ was part of his life long plea to find truth in religion. ‘Maundy Thursday’ uses the differing responses to the act of veneration, perhaps altering the reader’s view of Catholic doctrine. These struggles captivate the audiences necessary attention through negative connotations and dark undertones to make the experience much more real, much more heartfelt. Indeed this challenges Catholics to evaluate the true motives in practicing faith instead of their thoughtless submission to church dogma.
Overall, The Unreturning is an expression of the narrator’s unsuccessful communication with the dead. Religion is portrayed as the “chained doors” that withhold Owen from his will, by locking his loved ones from ever seeking a peaceful death. The afterlife could either be a cruel embodiment that robs humans of their will to love, to exist, or a void that sucks us into oblivion; whichever kind it maybe, the portrayal is a constant struggle to find truth. Owen’s struggle comes through the failure of Catholicism – what God would torture the deceased? Owen expresses the failure of the church and its congregation of followers who