Essay by valeriev95High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2014

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Valerie Vuu

"My subject is war and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity" reflects his most important concern as a poet. Discuss.

Notable poet and soldier Wilfred Owen has constructed vast amounts of poetry surrounding his experiences on the front during World War I. Many of his poems surround the tragedies of war and exposing the gruesome truths of war. The beginning of the war saw the government introducing many posters and ads glorifying the war as a way to encourage individuals to support and participate in the war. Owen's experience as a soldier during the World War I prompted him to write many poems to dispel much of fantastical images portrayed to the public during the war. Owen's use of sensual language, poetic devices and graphic descriptions in his poems allow a portrayal of what war was really like.

Owen uses graphic language and different persuasive techniques to emphasise the impacts of war.

For example, in Dulce et Decorum est he uses words and phrases associated with pain such as 'writhing' and 'limped on.' Through the use of those words, the reader is thus enabled to understand the difficult circumstances that soldiers must endure in the war. In 'The Sentry' Owen writes "…huge-bulged eyes like squids" using the image of a slimy, grotesque creature to confront the reader using visually heavy words to create a feeling of disgust and sympathy towards those who are participating in the war. In "Mental Cases" he repeats the words 'murder' and 'blood' to emphasise the horrible nature of war. Words such as 'murder' and 'blood' lowers the appeal of going to war as they are words that have negative connotations and dispels the ideal that participating in war ensures an adventurous experience. By using words that are associated...