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Owen’s Poems Reveal Tenderness And Compassion

734 words - 3 pages

Owen’s poems reveal tenderness and compassion towards those whose lives have been destroyed by the war. Discuss.
Owen, in his war poetry reveals the awful reality of war and its effect on the young men involved. Given that these men are suffering in treacherous conditions, Owen expresses empathy towards the wretched soldiers who are fighting in a battle which they have little hope of surviving. Owen discloses his sympathy towards these young men by revealing the harsh conditions they live in and exposing their suffering both physical and mental. He exposes the reality of the war in an attempt to reveal the lives shattered to the unknowing public who do not know the true war conditions.
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We feel and hear the inescapable water underfoot “slush waist-high and rising hour by hour” and the constant “rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime.” He uses personification to indicate the malevolent power of the elements: they ‘choked the steps too thick with clay to climb.’ Confronting the men are the overpowering “murk of air remained stank old, and sour…and the smell of men” both alive and dead. We are forced to empathise with the inescapable suffering of the men. We are shown the potential friendship and camaraderie in “Strange Meeting” where the soldier sees his enemy and tells him “Strange friend…here is no cause to mourn” revealing how even though they are fighting against each other, there is nothing preventing them from becoming friends.
Even on their return home the soldiers do not have a hero’s welcome instead they are shunned and isolated from normal life by civilians. The rawness of a life wasted is revealed in “Disabled.” The disabled soldier looks back at his former life and aspirations and realised how superficially he...

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