What is included: Dulce et Decorum Est


What Images are presented in the text?
In the poem Dulce et Decorum Est written by Wilfred Owen the images presented are powerful, but most importantly substantial and strong. The poem was written to show how the war was not glorious and noble, as many people thought it was. He wanted show how horrible war is, and its affects on people.

The line “bent double” immediately puts an image in my head that is not very pleasant. The image that is presented to me is of a soldier who has been plagued with sickness, but continues to battle; though during the fight it becomes overwhelming. He is forced into the position of “bent double”, and cannot continue.

In the second stanza of the poem, Owen has written the line “Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time”. The image that he his trying to establish is that of soldiers rushing through the trenches almost missing there helmets; but like in slow motion they reach back just in time to grab there valued protective gear before they leave the whole in the ground. As they reach the top of the trench they are still fitting there helmets, but with the rush of adrenaline they are finding it difficult.

“Behind the wagon that we flung him in”, is such a powerful line. I believe that Owen is trying to convey the image of an injured man in horrific mental and physical state who can’t continue. The state that he is in, is so bad that he can’t even walk and needs his comrades to lift him into a medical wagon. The image created by Owen is grim, but easily communicates his message that going to war is not nice.

The line in the poem that generates the most vivid image is, “white eyes writhing in his face”. The image that Owen has created is of a soldier in unimaginable pain; the pain is so bad that the colour has left eyes, and all that is left is the white squirming and twisting around. This line really hits Owens goal of trying to show that war is not glamorous and something to be proud of it. It is actually horrific and causes pain to many.

What specific vocabulary has been chosen to add the meaning of the text?

The use of Latin sets the time period, as Latin would’ve been taught widely throughout the schools

Language Techniques:
Oxymoron – “An ecstasy of fumbling”
The word ecstasy
Symbolism – “Smothering dreams”
Personification – “Haunting flares”

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