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Wilfred Owen

Essay by review  •  April 3, 2011  •  Essay  •  616 Words (3 Pages)  •  906 Views

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The feelings on the subject of war for most people are based on the second and third hand accounts of those who have personally experienced the events associated with the term war. Wilfred Owen is not one of those people. Wilfred Owen served till his death in the trenches during World War I for his home country of England. Wilfred Owen is one of very few war poets whose poetry reflects events they have experienced. This experience offers insight and opinion that can not be matched by other poets. It is this experience and his willing participation in war that makes his anti-war poetry especially interesting.

It is clear to see why Wilfred Owen developed his stern anti-war position. Wilfred Owen fought right alongside "the men who died as cattle," as he described in his Sonnet. He was on the front lines during one of the greatest wars in history. His time spent in the trenches allowed him to from a very insightful opinion on war. Any intellectual man such as himself would see the dehumanization of mankind during the events war depressing and offensive. Owens position is so strong because:

Others have shown the disenchantment of war, have unlegended the roselight and romance of it, but none with such compassion for the disenchanted or such sternly just and justly stern judgment on the idyllisers. To him the sight and sound of a man gassed suffice to give the lie to "dulce et decorum" and the rest of it. The atrophy that he damns is not that of the men who fought - having seen all things are. The eyes are rid of the hurt of the colour of blood for ever. (Sheers 32)

Any man to experience similar events would undoubtedly share the same position as Owen. Such negative events had a significant impact on Owen. But there is something that makes Wilfred Owen very different from other people who share the same position as he does on war. Owen was a willing and proud participant in the same events in which he openly condemns.

The fact that Wilfred Owen was a proud Lieutenant in the Manchester Regiment and yet strongly opposed to war is quite ironic. In his sonnet The Anthem for Doomed Youth each and every line is filled with imagery of the atrocities and inhumane behavior that occurred during WWI. The very same behavior in which he condemns he was a willing participant in. This irony can only be explained in one way. Wilfred Owen is so opposed to war the only reason he partakes in it is so, "that any son



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