Wilfred Owen's Poems On The Futility Of War

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Poems using strong poetic technique and devices are able to create a wide range of emotions from the readers. Wilfred Owen’s poetry effectively uses these poetic techniques and devices to not only create unsettling images about war but to provide his opinion about war itself with the use of themes within his poem. The use of these themes explored Owen’s ideas on the futility of war and can be seen in the poems: Anthem for Doomed Youth, Futility and The Next War. The poems provide unsettling images and belief of war through the treatment of death, barbaric nature of war and the futility of war.

In majority of Owen’s poem, he demonstrates the true image of war and the impact it has on the soldiers rather than masking it with the lies of pride
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The idea of the futility of war can be seen in the poem Strange Meeting, where the persona creates a scenario of two opposing soldiers having a conversation in Hell. The line, “The pity of war, the pity war distilled” uses repetition with the word “pity” to imply the pity that is felt for the soldiers that have died at war. The use of the word “distilled” is indicating how war is attracting the concentration of many people and that the soldiers are dying for pointless reasons, intensifying the pity felt on the soldiers. Futility of war is again demonstrated in Owen’s poem, Futility, in the final stanza with the rhetorical question, “Was it for this the clay grew tall?” Owen use of imagery of “clay grew tall” is making a biblical reference to humans being made by ‘clay’ and questioning was the creation of humankind futile due to the recurring inevitability of war and suffering. In the previous lines, Owen compares the sun with God and is desperate to bring his comrades back to life, “Woke, once, the clays of a cold star” The use of the oxymoron is Owen indicating that the sun is now weaker than it was previously. Owen is explaining how futile the sun was to provide life on Earth if it is unable to bring back the dead. The reference to a cold star is highlighting the life that was brought to Earth has now turned cold due to it being destroyed and killed from war. This presents Owen’s idea of the futility of war as it will result in the destruction of
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