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Reader Response

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In the poem Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen, Owen is describing

the war scene he is in. It is not a beautiful sight; instead, it Owen

tries to paint the scene as one that is horrid. At the end of the

poem, Owen says "The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est/Pro patria mori"

(414). Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori is Latin which translates

to say it is sweet and beautiful to die for your country. When Owen

says this is a lie, I think he means that it is not an honor to die

for your country as many citizens may believe. Instead, Owen describes

it as if it is a nightmare you can't wake up from. I believe the

purpose of this poem was to show his readers that fighting in the war

is not something to be proud of and it is not something sweet and

beautiful to die for your country for.

As I was reading this, it reminded me of the book The Things They

Carried by Tim O'Brien. In The Things They Carried O'Brien talks about

his stories during the Vietnam War. The last time I read it was a

couple of years ago, but from what I remember, the book was depressing

because he talked about his stories from war. While I do not

personally know any veterans, I have heard that coming back from war

messes with veterans' minds. I know that war is not pretty and it is

gruesome. However, I would not have thought that a veteran would say

dying for your country is not a noble death as some may see.



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