Wilfred Owen presents images throughout the text for example firstly he describes “innocent.” This descriptions shows and affects my underling that the events occurred were such horror that they did not deserve this, the word innocence shows that they are powerless, meaning that the event occurring is on a ridiculous scale of intensity and power. This shows that most people are all vulnerable and they are clueless and helpless. Saying “on innocent tongues,” present that he is speaking on behalf of every soldier that they are underfed, malnourished and fatigued. The image of innocent tongues presents they may not have had the pleasure of eating for long periods of time. The phrase innocence can be seen for a stereotypical person to be young, because that is the age of innocence, hence Wilfred Owen is getting across that all the soldiers are young.

“His hanging face.” The use of his shows that his dying friend that they had a very close connection, speaking in a present tense. “His” instead of “he had a” shows that this fellow comrade is still in presence in his mind, and also presents that this particular event may have significance to Wilfred as it was a time of sadness and horror maybe using a form of catharsis to try relive that moment into words. This language shows he values friendship and respect.

Wilfred Owen also presents a solid imagery though “his hanging face.” This presents the setting to very sad as his friend may be dying infant of him and his face may be drooping. A hanging face describes that he looks very old or sick, this might present sine he has included this detail that his face was the complete opposite before this event, and has significance as he is not familiar with him looking like this. Also the word hanging has a stereotypical image of a young person hanging on a swing for example, with a sense of joy. Therefore Mr. Owen is trying to present that he was young and full of vibrance. This does not work for Wilfred Owen as war was presented as “Dulce et decorum best Pro patria more,” is just an old lie.

Dulce et decorum best includes a challenge towards leaders that the propaganda is an “old Lie.” This shows how Wilfred Owen has come to realisation that war isn’t miraculous, glorious or exhilarating. “the old lie,” places images in my head that throughout Wilfred Owen hole life he has been repeatedly told the same catch phrase sentence, that he just lives with it with a special spot in his brain. A lie is something once you have done it will not be the same and the fact that Wilfred Owen has heard this rededately before he set off he would fully believe it. This shows the feeling to not be disgusted with the old lie, but more of moment for the soldiers to be feeling gullible, or disappointed of falling into the trap of this lie.

“The old Lie,” shows specific vocabulary showing significance in the word Lie with a capital L. This shows that Wilfred Owen believes In highlighting that point that war is not glorious and fitting, by using this capital L we can tell this indicating Wilfred has a protective side. He shows obviously that this lie was portrayed and used very much during the time of the war as the way he crafts it, shows that most children already know about this. The capital L is chosen as it presents that it is of significance in his life now and he is continuously thinking over about it, as generally something starting with a capital is a specific thing like a title of a book, when you are reading this book you everyone and then when you finish a page think about the title, author or the front cover, while Mr Owen is fighting and serving in war he thinks about that front cover of the poster with the photo of the glorious leader on it.

“all went lame,” has been chosen specifically to add to the meaning of “Dulce et decorum est.” I think the word All has been chosen to be in the poem is to show the significance of how many it effected, with was All. Instead of Wilfred Owen using some for example. This use of all describes that every single soldier may be going exactly what the poet is going through, which is fatigue and horror. This has been chosen in to not only think of all the soldiers from the British, French side but also maybe the opposition so the poem can be related to by many people. This shows that Wilfred Owen values sympathy, which stereotypically might not be seen by a soldier fighting for ones country/allies.

Language techniques task:

“on innocent tongues,” is a form of symbolism.

This technique was used to allow the reader to give meaning of what innocence. This allows us to picture what innocence is which is being young and helpless, and are under no power to change this. This describes Wilfred Owens situation as he is innocent and war and maybe yet again feels innocent, he then cross links with “to children ardent,” which links with this child image. This use of symbolism shows that when since he has been innocent when he was told “the old Lie,” and has yet to overcome that innocence since. It portrays and image of helpless innocent soldiers.

“Like old beggars under sacks,” is a simile.

The use simile compares the soldiers to be old beggars. The images of old beggars describes an image of desperate, for example nowadays they a desperate for money, hence describing that the are desperate for warmth, food and freedom from the war. Describing the soldiers to be old, I think of frail, fatigue or have no energy except to sit there stereotypically. This presents that the soldiers are very sore, and have the characteristics of an old person, which is almost irony as there was a certain age restriction or capability of a soldier who could join the war. Which young “capable” soldiers become being described as “old beggars.” This impacts the reader, as there is continuous theme of old for example “hag,” this gives the reader nowadays a different perspective on war and brings a stereotypical image of a soldier to be very fatigued and sore, whereas stereotypically during war, a stereotype of a soldier is thrilled, excited and passionate which differs the readers knowledge, if they did not pick up on “the old Lie.”

“Men marched asleep,” hyperbole

Wilfred Owen uses hyperbole to emphasise the problem, describing an image that the soldiers were so fatigued that they may have well been asleep, which was a sense of irony as men were supposed to be marching with pride and passion. Wilfred Owen using hyperbole is trying to get the message across of the old lie, using hyperbole to exaggerate the beyond terrible conditions.




Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Jesse, your first idea about the “innocence” of soldiers in Owen’s eyes is a valid one. Consider what additional historical information you could give to support this discussion. I.e. Your thoughts on the propaganda used to enlist soldiers, which were shared in class. Also, consider the effect of various language techniques /writing techniques on the reader. I.e. What does imagery or a simile do? When you state: “using a form of catharsis to try relive that moment into words”, consider why the poet would want to use his poetry as a form of catharsis? Great original insight shared here overall. Well done!


Respond now!