Wilfred Owen's Life and Accomplishments

777 Words Jun 22nd, 2018 4 Pages
The First World War not only reshaped boundaries, watched empires rise and fall, but it also saw a drastic change in the literary art, and the view of war and all its “glory”. With authors such as Wilfred Owen, the world was beginning to get exposed to the brutality of war from the front line. Like most poets of his time, Owen wrote in the modern period. “And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs” (Dulce et Decorum Est). This gruesome line paints a picture of a gas attack. Although his life on earth was cut short, Owen has truly made a spot for himself among the greatest war poets in history. …show more content…
“GAS! GAS!” (Owen) is a cry of warning, “Quick, boys! -An ecstasy of fumbling”(Owen), this is not a description of slow nerves but, it is a description of exhausted soldiers, “Men marched asleep... All went lame, all blind Drunk with fatigue” (Owen) and due to this extreme physical and mental exhaustion the soldiers are “deaf even to the hoots of gas-shells dropping softly behind.” (Owen) The 'ecstasy of fumbling' describes all the soldiers, waking from exhaustion into extreme fear, trying to hurriedly put on their gas masks to save their own lives. Lines 12-14 compares succumbing to poison gas to drowning. Symptoms of chlorine or phosgene gas are well described. “The misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning” (Owen), are accurate descriptions of the green poison gas covering the land. Medically speaking the gas causes lungs to fill with fluid and the gassed soldiers drown from liquid in their own lungs. The phrase “gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs” (Owen), describes the gassed lungs filled with fluid, producing the same effects as when a person drowns in water. Describing a new terror of warfare. Stanza three mirrors Owen’s nightmare memories of this gas attack. As a part of his therapy at Craig Lockhart, psychiatric hospital in Edinburgh, Owen's doctor, encouraged him to translate his experiences, specifically the experiences he relived in his dreams, into poetry. Wilfred
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