owens poem

owens poem - Shahan, 1 English 111 8 October 2008...

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Shahan, 1 English 111 8 October 2008 Historical Accuracy of “Dulce et Decorum Est” There is a definite reason why Wilfred Owen’s poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” which is about soldiers in World War I, strikes any reader with sympathy for those men who actually suffered through the pain and agony of fighting and being told that it would be and honor to die for their country. Owens poem is incredibly historically accurate, and the detail he gives to describe to the readers is mind boggling. Although interpretations for this poem can be debated, there is one certainty that can be understood by all parties. Knowing that one solider means nothing in the world of war, is depressing and deserves compassion. Any reader who has read his poem, should understand the fear and agony that they had gone through while fighting for a cause that they were told was worth their life, After reading this poem, my interpretation was that war, no matter how necessary it may seem is ugly and difficult for anyone involved. Owens purpose was to show a first hand account of what these soldiers had gone through, an actual historical reference of what had happened. The account of the war time is very raw and real when, in lines 5-6 Owens states “Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots but limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind” (Owens 861) here Owens described the scene of the men marching on into war and how they were observed. They did not have the materials to be fully clothed or have the safe places to sleep at night to regain their rest and their strength. However horrible these conditions were, they still continued on with their tasks, still ready to fight when the occasion called for it and ready to die.
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Owens gave me a complete insight of what the WW I soldiers had to go through and the mentality that they had while completing their duties, “Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud. Of vile incurable sores on innocent tongues” (Owens 862) it just shows how harsh they had to live their lives in order to survive. Innocent men who never had seen war or the horrible truths of it, where being thrown into this life of every day fear that death will come knocking and they will some day die. The fact that the soldiers were told that “The old lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro Patria mori” (Owens 862) which in English means “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country” is horrifying. They are given the mentality that their lives are insignificant and the only purpose that they serve is to have the honor to die for their country. Knowing that these soldiers had hopes and dreams for the future makes it even more difficult to read and understand. Just imagine being torn from the comfort of a safe home and being told that now you must fight for your life and kill men you never even met over an issue that you may never even believed in the first place. That’s what these men had been going through. The fact that Owens took the time to account for everything that had
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2010 for the course ENG 100 taught by Professor Lettau during the Fall '06 term at Palomar.

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owens poem - Shahan, 1 English 111 8 October 2008...

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