“a Moving Mixture of Bitterness and Compassion”, How Far Do You Agree That This Statement Is True of Owen’s Poetry?

“a Moving Mixture of Bitterness and Compassion”, How Far Do You Agree That This Statement Is True of Owen’s Poetry?

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  • Date Submitted: 12/08/2013 11:44 AM
  • Category: English
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English Literature Essay

“A moving mixture of bitterness and compassion”, how far do you agree that this statement is true of Owen’s poetry?

Wilfred Owen’s main idea for the poems “Dulce Et Decorum Est” and “Anthem for Doomed Youth” was to expose the true horrors of war and to challenge the romanticized view of war that poets in those times portrayed. Both poems portray Owen's bitterness and anger towards the war and his compassion for the soldiers that died or had to endure such agony. The poems were written during the First World War and concentrate on how innocent people were killed for no other reason but for their country. His use of language very effectively brings across the mixtures of compassion and bitterness.
Wilfred Owen’s poem “Dulce et Decorum Est,” shows the reality of war firsthand. He writes about the memories and flashbacks of world war I. Owen describes in his writing that people will encourage you to fight for your country, but, it may be sentencing yourself to a pointless demise. He intelligently makes the reader aware that death is hideous. He makes you feel as though you yourself are fighting in the war. Owen uses imagery, similes, and irony to make the reader engaged in the poem. All of the soldiers are mentally and physically ravaged by the exertions of battle, ‘blood-shod’. Gas shells dropped ‘softly behind’. The soldiers scramble for their gas masks in a frantic attempt to save their own lives. A soldier begins ‘stumbling and floundering’ in the toxic fumes, unable to save himself from an excruciating certain death. Bitterly, Owen addresses the reader wondering how persons can continue to call for war knowing the disastrous effects. In the Owen’s mind, there is nothing glorious or honorable about death. Or, for that matter, war itself.
The poem "Anthem for Doomed Youth" is honoring and remembering the soldiers who died. However, it is more or less criticizing those who did not think the young, lower ranking soldiers deserved a...

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