When “Sweet and Proper” Turns Sour
“Dulce ainsi que Decorum Est” is a composition written by Wilfred Owen that describes the horrors of World War I throughout the senses of your soldier. Owen uses extreme, harsh symbolism to effectively describe the way the war started to be all the military were aware of. This is in demonstration to the method England was glorifying warfare. As all the imagery he uses is definitely negatively connotated, by the end from the poem, the imagery offers overcome the soldier as well as the reader. The imagery in Wilfred Owen’s poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” helps it be clear that war was not the reputable thing that England was making it to be able to be, although instead, it absolutely was a horrifying reality that no one will have to face.
Battle, while mainly negatively connotated, has been looked at positively in a few societies. A lot of tradition views fighting in a conflict for one’s country as an example of honor and pride. The very title of Owen’s composition is “Dulce et Decorum Est” which in turn alludes to the Latin key phrase “Dulce ain decorum est pro patria mori”. This phrase translates to “It is definitely sweet and proper to die for your country”. After examining the composition, it becomes crystal clear that Owen is being sarcastic in the title and is really arguing totally against the term as he telephone calls it “the old Lie” (27). The imagery this individual uses completely supports this argument since it anything via “sweet and proper”. Owen specifically goes out of his way to spell out the scenery around the soldiers as darker, dirty, and disgusting in order to combat the idea that anything about war is “sweet and proper”.
Being a specific technique to take the glory out of war, Owen uses particular similes involving the soldiers and lower people of British society to portray the reality of warfare. The English society at this time was very distinctly separated by classes, and the upper classes were undoubtedly viewed as superior to the bottom classes. The soldiers been seen in as the heroes from the country, and so were assembled with the upper class in that they were viewed. However , these people were treated and lived “like old beggars under sacks” (1). This individual also examines them to “hags” (2) which in turn invokes not simply lower-class, but also bad. By displaying the troops in this lumination instead of the glorified way world viewed them, Owen removes the appeal of war and replaces this with a distaste associated with the reduced classes.
Every graphic that Owen conjures up in the poem is all about the worst description one could imagine to get a situation. In a way, it the actual poem seem to be a bit silly as some with the images will be hardly fathomable. It seems, nevertheless , that this is definitely the effect Owen wanted to communicate. The way this individual describes the life span of the soldiers is so negative that the average reader are unable to even have an understanding of the images he can describing, “If you could hear, at every shot, the blood/Come gargling in the froth-corrupted lungs, /Obscene because cancer, bitter as the cud/Of disgusting, incurable sores on faithful tongues” (21-24). With keyword phrases such as “obscene as cancer” and “vile, incurable sores on blameless tongues”, Owen forces the unpleasant picture of dying, decaying flesh. This is certainly an image that a lot of readers tend not to comprehend in the beginning, at it can be natural in society to filter out this sort of harsh photos. Owen uses this surprising imagery to indicate that the actual soldiers proceed through is completely absurd and no you should ever need to come to understand the horrible images this individual describes. His strong symbolism makes his message also stronger.
Another way Owen uses imagery to convey his message is by taking away the senses of the soldiers in the poem. Through the entire text message, the military are referred to with words and phrases such as “lame” (6), “blind” (6), “deaf” (7), “fumbling” (9), and “clumsy” (10). These words all represent when a sense is no longer working correctly. Through the use of words similar to this throughout the whole poem, Owen even more strips down the image of a strong, honorable, young man defending the country. Phrases like these communicate the reality that these are helpless males who will be being dehumanized as almost all their physical feelings along with sense of being is moving away with all the war.
Owen reveals the young men slipping apart in the first half of the poem, in order to show the psychological associated with the conflict in the second half of the poem. The second half consists of an officer explaining how he is haunted every evening by one among his guys who died right before his eyes, “In all my dreams, before my personal helpless look, /He plunges at myself, guttering, choking, drowning” (15-16). Through this section, it becomes obvious, that also those not physically hurt, lost their particular senses inside the war. Though this particular expert survived the encounter with all the gas, he has to relive the fear every night “before his helpless sight”. Besides the conflict take away control over their feelings, it also will take control of their particular sanity as they are never capable of leave the battlefield even though the warfare is over.
Overall, this poem is usually not very easily forgotten since the symbolism Owen uses is extremely distressing. The human brain is at peace when it states or imagines things that are comfortable and easy to know. Something like Owen’s poem distresses the mind, causing it to dwell on the disturbing images described. When Owen’s disagreement is solid and uncomfortable to place, he succeeds in preventing against the thought that all war is usually sweet. Right now when people think of the Latin phrase, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”, they will rather think of the imagery in Owen’s composition and shudder in terror at the considered war.