The War Prayer By Wilfred Owen

1865 Words8 Pages
Society is constantly redefining knowledge. Some would argue knowledge comes from logic and proven ideas, yet others would refute that personal experiences and human emotions develop knowledge. As argued in Twain’s “The War Prayer,” those in power construct knowledge, forming a narrative that society accepts as the truth.Through the conventions of language, authority figures are able to create a false sense of reality, a reality that one believes to be true but cannot actually prove, as argued by Wilfred Owen in “Dulce Et Decorum Est”. While Twain’s “The War Prayer” initially follows the narrative that wartime is a hopeful and patriotic experience, the second half, as well as Owen’s “Dulce Et Decorum Est,” deconstruct the narrative and…show more content…
The phrases “the country” and “in every breast” creates the sense that absolutely every American believes in these familiar concepts and to feel anything differently from the predetermined emotions picked out by the nation 's leaders should cause embarrassment and self-questioning among one. The personification of patriotism as a “holy fire [that] burned,” signifies that the embers are still building, as patriotism is still rising and the nation is getting stronger with the addition of every supporter. However this “burning fire” contrasts the “smothering dreams [that one] too could pace… his hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin”(Owen). These patriotic dreams are “smothered,” slowly fading and weakening after Owen exposes to society what is truthfully going on amongst the soldiers on the battlefront. The faces that display excitement from the U.S. civilians at home contrast the “hanging faces, like a devil’s sick of sin.” The faces and attitudes of these soldiers are so lifeless and gruesome that they represent that of a “devil,” an image feared by a group derived from a strong religious foundation and who pray against “sin” upon such men.
Though the men are previously characterized as hopeful and strong, Wilfred Owen and his personal battlefront experiences contrast this view, conveying the soldiers as weakened and forgotten by the authority figures who once promised to award honor among such “heros”. Euphemisms convince Americans to
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