wilfred owen

Essay by kirralawsonHigh School, 12th gradeB+, September 2014

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Wilfred Owen undermines traditional perceptions that glorified conflict and the heroism of the sacrifice of soldiers at war. He challenges the audience to more deeply consider the horrific, futility and brutality of war in his poems Futility and Disabled. Wilfred Owen was unique from other poets because he exposed the brutal reality of war at a time when other poets had not and his poetry benefited from greater insight due to his pacifist beliefs. This is ultimately what makes Owen's poetry unique and allows it to stand on its own for the contemporary audience.

Unlike authors of his time, Wilfred Owen highlighted the false glorification of conflict and the waste of the lives associated with war in his poem Futility. This continues to resonate with modern audiences as Owen vividly depicts the innocent victims of pointless wars and expresses a sense of melancholy through the use of symbolism, metaphor and personification.

This is depicted in Owen's personification of the sun as 'kind and old' along with the symbolism of the sun "move him into the sun- gently its touch awoke him once At home, whispering of fields unsown" which portrays the sun as the giver of life as it gently touches the man, rousing him from sleep, in a maternal and nurturing manner. The sun, personified, whispers gently to him while the fields half-sown is a metaphor for a life not fully lived. The use of imperatives at the beginning of the poem conveys the hope and confidence that the sun can help yet the title of the poem Futility subverts this, instead referring to how that hope and confidence is misplaced. Owen is therefore distinguished from other poets through his effective choice of poetic devices and figurative language to communicate his contestation of the false glorification of...