Poetry is often used as a form of expression to portray a poets feeling and message. Owen??™s poetry was different to the other types of war poems of his time, as he was courageous enough to make his attacks on the government and present his ideas throughout his two poems ???Anthem for Doomed Youth??™ and ???dulce et decorum est??™. As a man who once fought in these wars, Owen is able to incorporate his extraordinary experiences into his poetry, to further vividly enhanced the suffering and pity through the use of poetic techniques such as the poem??™s structure, symbolism, simile and rhetorical questions.Owen??™s choice to structure the poem ???Anthem for Doomed Youth??™ as a sonnet creates irony as sonnets are usually affiliated with the theme of love, not the horrors of war. As the readers are introduced to the poem, irony has already been established within the title. The term ???anthem??™ is often associated with peace and patriotism.
However, here Owen??™s idea of peace contradicts with ???Doomed Youth??™ as it suggests the presence of corruption and decay that war will bring upon these young soldiers; then only be followed with their deaths. The assonance in the elongated ???oo??™ sound of ???Doomed Youth??™ slows down the pace to further reinforce the slow march to death and the negative ???doomed??™ connotations to war. A faster pace is further achieved by the utilisation of alliteration and onomatopoeia in ???…stuttering rifles??™ rapid rattle???. The combination techniques emphasises the rapid sound of guns firing, allowing readers to apply their aural senses to effectively understand the horrific environment of the battlefield. These key lines in the first stanza reinforces Owen??™s focus on the pitiful nature of war and its connection to a human??™s dreadful experience.
As a sonnet, the opening line of the octave in ???Anthem for Doomed Youth??™ begins with a rhetorical question to question the lack of humanity in the war through ???What passing-bells for these who die as cattle??? Owen??™s use of simile depicting the young soldiers ?????¦as cattle??™ completely dehumanises these soldiers, as cattle die by being brutally slaughtered. He is making their deaths completely anonymous; just like animals, packed as cattle with no significance or identity. The symbolism of ???passing-bells??™ highlights Owen??™s question of who will mourn for the soldiers on the battlefield. Thus, representing his perspective on how little respect society has for those who die in battle, once again highlighting the suffering of the many soldiers for the purposeless war.Similarly, ???Futility??™ too is written in a sonnet format to provide that simple structure which helps to provoke the raw emotions of the reader in order to truly reflect on the Owen??™s concern of giving one??™s life for war. What makes ???Futility??™ much more provocative is that this poem is based on the real life experiences of Owen himself. Instead of using a rhetorical question at the start of the sonnet, Owen opens with the gentle, yet dramatic imperative in present tense ???Move him into the sun-???. Due to the fact that this line only consists of one syllable words, it creates that fast pace and urgent situation the poet is in.
Owen believes that this sun will bring his friend back to life as ???Gently its touch woke him once???. Accompanied by the symbolism and the personification of the sun, it represents Owen??™s initial belief that the sun is the universal essence of life in that it awakens life and warmth. The once ???kind old sun??? no longer exist through the poet??™s perspective as he begins to lose faith causing him to question humanity, perceiving the sun as ???fatuous sunbeams??™. The juxtaposition in which the sun is perceived by Owen dramatically changes between stanzas allowing the poet to highlight his loss of faith and hope in humanity.
This perception is heavily influenced by his exposure to brutal and futile nature of war, as the suffering has personally affected Owen.Owen explores religion in the second stanza of ???Futility??™ asking ???Was it for this the clay grew tall??™. This rhetorical question refers to the creation story where God breathed life into a ball of clay bringing Adam to life. It reflects onto the purpose of life, suggesting whether the reason for mankind was to for these young men to be brought up and nourished by the sun only to brutally sacrifice their lives in a hopeless war. Owen??™s choice of word to include ???this??™ in the line further broadens the prospect on this waste of life by penetrating the physical nature of war, revealing the moral damages on human kind. Similarly in ???Anthem for Doomed Youth??™, Owen addresses this waste of life by asking who will pray for the souls of the lost young ones through the rhetorical question ???What candles may be held to speed them all??? However, it??™s suggested that they will be remember ???not in the hand of the boys, but in their eyes??™.
This highlights that they will not be forgotten as the horrors of war will speak from within the eyes of their comrades who witnessed and survived, only grieve for those who have fallen. The symbolic value of the eye acting as a progressive recording device contributes evoking the readers as it suggests that the young soldiers were forced to suffer from their inevitable vision. Through the comparison of the lines, we see that Owen has further signified his focus on the brutal experience by depicting the mentally scarring and pointless nature of war to effectively depict a soldier??™s horrid experience.Dulce et Decorum Est brings the realisation that war is not as it portrayed to the public, but the allusion that the government gives to the country. This is shown through the title ???Dulce et Decorum Est???.
The title means it is sweet and noble to die for one??™s country and that the saying is an old lie. This shows how war is everything but sweet and honourable. ???Dulce ET Decorum Est pro patria mori???.Owen uses visual representation in Dulce to show the mental and physical effects on the soldiers going through the punishment of war and how this changes the young soldiers. The harshness of the simile ???bent double like old beggars. shows the boys aged by the ravages of war and the mental and physical effects on the soldiers going through the punishment of war and how this changes the young soldiers.
This is not how soldiers should be depicted, they should have their heads held high, marching tall. Which contradicts the bold title to the poem.This along ???An ecstasy of fumbling??? shows the urgent need for the salvation of one??™s life. The ecstasy of fumbling to put their masks on shows the urgent need for the salvation of one??™s life. The ecstasy of fumbling to put on their gas masks shows the audience how desperate the soldiers are to stay alive.Panic is introduced in stanza two, with a chance of pace and the use of exclamation ???GAS! GAS! Quick boys! And the frequent use of rhyme and half rhyme, ???fumbling, fitting, clumsy, ecstasy, floundering??? emphasises the random nature of their survival and ending in the smilie ???like a man in fire??? as Owen turns to the drowning metaphor of the gassed man viewed as if he is slightly removed from reality ???Dim, through the misty panes???.The use of Guttural consonants throughout Owen??™s poem Dulce Et Decorum Est are shown through words such as ???Gluttering, choking, drowning??? the use of ???K??? ???T??? and ??? D??? emphasise the horror of the deaths, there is nothing smooth and easy about the death of a soldier. It tells a story of a young soldier because he wasn??™t quick enough to put on the mask.
The harsh sound when these words are spoken help set the theme of a pointless death in war. This is coupled with the, ???…
ing??? which make the poem powerful to the reader showing that the scene is not in the past, it??™s happening now. It illustrates the scene and horror and that death is not sweet (dulce) .Owen used this to convey his message to the home front, to show the effects of war through the harshness of his language with the lost of innocent life within our societ