Identity of a Soldier Paper

Identity of a Soldier Paper - Alyssa Rubnitz November 8...

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Alyssa Rubnitz November 8, 2009 Joshua Taft Identity of the Soldier and the Home Front Once World War I broke out at the beginning of the twentieth century, two distinct spheres of life existed: the warfront and the home front. Men at home enlisted in the war effort, seeking dignity through a noble cause. At war, men fought for their country, suffering from injuries and exhaustion, and most soldiers’ identities were forever shaped by the horrors of the war. By describing the soldier identity as one lacking the physical ability to move, see, and hear, the speaker in Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce Et Decorum Est” contrasts that with the enthusiastic non-soldier identity, rejecting the home front’s expectation for men to fight for the noble cause of the war. The speaker identifies himself and other soldiers as individuals without capabilities of physical mobility. The speaker describes himself and the soldiers alongside him through descriptive imagery of almost inhumane-like beings. They walk “knock-kneed” as they “cursed through the trudge” (2). The men’s legs are severely injured and they therefore struggle to continue walking. He describes the men as yelling curses, as they walk with wounded knees. By vocalizing their physical pain and agony, the soldiers reveal the vile pain that they must suffer through. Moreover, the speaker describes the soldiers as lacking the proper attire to continue fighting, and therefore they struggle to move. As a result of marching, they “had lost their boots / But limped on, blood-shod” (5-6). Through a single word, “blood-shod,” the speaker delivers a vile image of the soldiers: their feet are injured and blood-covered as a result of lacking shoes. The soldiers’ pain is revealed through their limping, as they struggle to progress forward.
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Furthermore, the speaker remembers marching behind a wagon, inside of which resides a fellow soldier, dying from suffocation of gas. He describes the soldier as being “flung” into the wagon, delivering an effortless tone to the soldiers’ act of throwing the dead body (18). The soldier, once able to fight for the war, is now solely a body that has become lifeless, and completely motionless. The soldiers handle the body as if it is an
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Identity of a Soldier Paper - Alyssa Rubnitz November 8...

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