Wilfred Owen uses a range of poetic techniques to convey the horror of war. The detail in Owen's poetry puts forward his scenes horrifically and memorably. His poems are saturated with the horrors of battle. Many of Owen's poems bring across disturbing themes and images, which stay in the mind long after readers have read them. His aim is not poetry, but to describe the full horrors of war. In this essay I will look at two of Wilfred Owen’s most well known poems, ‘Disabled’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and how they use poetic techniques to convey the horror of war.
In the poem 'Disabled', Wilfred Owen effectively conveys the real tragedy of war. It is common for many people of the current generation to think only of those killed during the war. However through clever use of language techniques Owen causes the reader to remember that many people who were not killed in the war could still have suffered a lot more. In the poem Owen focuses on one young man, a single victim. It shows the effect the war has on the young man's life, when on returning from the war he has been maimed; "legless, sewn short at elbow".
Owen writes the poem with style. He uses the recruits contrasting memories and new views to create the war victim's true feelings. This can be seen through the following quotes; "About this time town used to swing so gay", "He thought be better join in" - he wonders why. "Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn".
Disabled effectively shows how dramatically the soldier’s lifestyle changed. He was once a great athlete, popular with the girls but now he is in a wheelchair, "they touch him like a queer disease", and he notices how "their eyes pass from him to the strong men that were whole". He is no longer seen as a normal person. An artist was once eager to paint him but "Now he is old, his back will never brace; he's lost his colour very far from home".
Dulce et Decorum Est describes an experience of a soldier during an attack in World War I. The...