Compare contrast Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et decorum est" and Thomas McGrath's "Gone Away Blues"

Essay by mickthesickUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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Owen excels; McGrath falters

Many wars have been fought in the history of mankind but none of them have resulted in as much suffering and loss of human life as the First World War. People who participated in that war were not prepared to face the brutality that the development of technology in warfare was about to cause. Millions of people died in that war and hundreds of people wrote about the war. Two of such people who wrote about the war are Wilfred Owen and Thomas McGrath.

In this paper, I will argue that despite being written on the same subject, Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est" shows us the reality of the war as a first-hand experience in a serious way with the use of metaphors, irony and imagery. On the other hand, McGrath's "Gone Away Blues" presents the reasons for not joining the war with the extensive use of metaphors in a humorous way, but underneath that humor lies his resentment.

McGrath uses simple language and simple words like "grass-green sea" (line 2) and "catastrophe" (3) to describe a battle scene. But Owen uses difficult words like "sludge" (2) and "trudge" (4) to describe the battle scene. Although both the poems can be read and understood, McGrath's "Gone Away Blues" is comparatively easier to read and grasp the meaning than Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est."

Both Owen and McGrath use punctuations. Owen does a good job in making the reader slow down, understand every phrase, and feel what the writer feels. But this heavy use of punctuation also makes the poem difficult to read, and doesn't allow the poem to flow. On the other hand, McGrath has very few use of punctuation in his poem. This makes his poem to flow...