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Dulce ET Decorum EST by Wilson Owen, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 494

Essay

Life and death are two different things, but in war, nothing else matters but winning. Life seems to be just a waste as the narrator of the poem describes their situation as soldiers.

In the first line, he mentions, “bent double, like old beggars under sacks, knock-kneed coughing like hags…”; living frugally, the soldiers tend to survive every day in the war field as if seeing their death and that of their comrades right in front of their eyes. During the recruitment, a presentation of high ranking generals are shown specifically pointing out how they stood bravely. Everything is glorious. Those who wanted fame got it from simply wearing the uniform during their training days. The idea of dying was specifically blanketed with the ideal presentation of heroism; as if death was a glorious matter. Utilizing the concept of heroism and being recognized as a prominent individual who has sacrificed his life for the good of his countrymen, many young men registered themselves into becoming a part of the army.

However, the picture immediately changes after these hopeful heroes are sent to the war fields. There they see the reality of fighting and of hoping to come home alive. They begin to meet veterans of war who have become bitter with life and have lost hope on the idea of ever getting away or getting saved from their miseries due to what the war years have done to them. There, they meet with individuals who have realized that life is worth nothing in the war and survival was nothing any different. Some have even lost their sense of actually understanding what are they doing and who they are doing it for. To this the poem continues to read: “men marched asleep, many had lost their boots but limped on, blood-shod…drunk with fatigue even to the hoots…” in this line, it could be analyzed how the men have grown accustomed to the ways of living that soldiers ought to embrace. After years of desiring to wear the uniform and joining the military force within the circle of heroes, it has become evidently obvious to many of these young recruits that their situation is never going to change, and that they have to accept that this is the way they should die.

The traumatic events that soldiers need to face with are the actual things that make up the dreams of the hopeful army members. When they reach the field, they are often dumb-founded. After the war years, the scars remain, and volunteering to be part of the army is never going to be worth it. This poem by Owens specifically defines what war is, what it is like among those who engage in it, and how it has changed the record of history. There is nothing glorious about death and no one should say otherwise; this emotional bearing on the part of the narrator sends out a message that help the public realize of what warfare is about.

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