A Critical Analysis Of "The Send Off" By Wilfred Owen. (1893-1918) This essay intends to examine the poem "The Send Off" by Wilfred Owen.

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This essay intends to examine the poem "The Send Off" by Wilfred Owen. Owen wrote this poem while he was stationed at Ripon army camp. He was based there after being a patient at the Craiglockhart War Hospital, this is where he met Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. Owen was at Ripon between March and June, 1918 and died in action on the fourth of November 1918.

"The Send Off" is a poem about some troops that have just come from a sending off ceremony before departing by train, presumably to the frontlines of World war One. The poem has many themes running through it. Some of these are death, strangers, flowers, secretiveness and healing.

The poem opens with a very claustrophobic first line -

"down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way"

The words 'down', 'close' and 'darkening' provide the reader with a feeling of doom, claustrophobia and fear of uncertainty.

The image of going 'down' provides the reader with the images of death, darkness, being buried, walking the trenches and going to hell. This opening line also provides a rather prophetic image of people being sent to concentration camps, by train, in World War Two. Further enhanced by 'siding shed'. From the phrase "they sang their way2 there is an opposed feeling of happiness to the claustrophobia. However, the singing changes from happiness when the poem is read again and the other themes are considered.

Flowers are the next prominent theme displayed in this poem. They appear in line four, stanza one and line fifteen, stanza three.

"Their breasts were stuck all white with wreath and spray

As men's are, dead."

The flowers are described as white and in wreath form, the reader may imagine in this line that white lilies are associated with funerals.