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Wilfred Owen

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Literary Research Paper

Wilfred Owen was born in the United Kingdom and later moved to France to become a teacher. He spent four months in the military during World War I. This is where he gets inspiration for his poems. Siegfried Sassoon, another poet of this time period, developed a friendship with Owen while they were both in a hospital during the war. Like Owen he used his experiences from the war to write many of his poems. Wilfred Owen is known best for his war poems such as "Dulce Et Decorum Est", "The Last Laugh", "Mental Cases" and "Disabled". In Owens' poems he is trying to get across to the reader how horrible war really is. He also shows empathy and sorrow for all the young soldiers. In Sassoon's poems such as "Glory of Women" and "Suicide in the Trenches" he is also portraying the horror and realities of war. Both Owen and Sassoon were soldiers in World War I and use first hand accounts to depict images of such a grim time through the use of poetry.

Before entering the war, Owen lived a normal, pampered life. He viewed the war as a glorious and patriotic thing. He was all for fighting for his country. After he became a part of the war I think his views changed. You can tell by the tone and imagery used in his poems that he no longer viewed the war as glorious. His tone turned into more of protest against the war. This is very evident in his poem " Dulce Et Decorum Est". In this poem Owen tells of soldiers that are being attacked by gas bombs. He tells of the horrors they went through. He says they are "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks". (667) He paints a picture of the young soldiers trying to make it through this attack. Some are even barefoot as he tells us in the line "Many had lost their boots but limped on, blood-shod." (667) Owens ' depiction of the war is also seen in his poem "Strange Meeting". In this poem he talks about going underground to escape the gruesome realities of what is happening above ground. However when he goes underground he only finds it to be more horrifying due to all the dead bodies. He even compares it to hell when he says, " by his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell". (Owen, Wilfred) There were many other poets during this time that shared the same views about the reality of war that Owens writes about.

Much like Owens, Siegfried Sassoon was born into a wealthy family and lifestyle. However when it came time to enlist for the war Sassoon was there the first day. He was eager and ready. It didn't take long for him to change his views on the war. He became bitter towards it and this is evident in his poetry during this time. In "Glory of Women" he criticizes how the women back home have no idea what the men have to go through. He believes they have unrealistic views on war. In the



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