Futility - Wilfred Owen

The poem ‘Futility’ is a one about a fallen soldier who is moved into the sun so that he may be revived from its warmth. This act viewed from our perspective is futile or useless because the sun cannot do that further creating a tone of despair to be recognised for the readers of this poem. This tone of despair is established briefly in the first half of the first stanza.
The very first line of this poem creates an initial sense of hope through the imperative, ‘Move him into the sun’ as the imperative word ‘Move’ directs us as the reader into doing exactly just that, moving the soldier into the sun as we are told so that the soldier can revive immediately. The effect of this line enables us to begin to formulate and heighten our hopes that this fallen soldier can be revived. The sun although symbolic of life and hope is also personified to be ‘gently’ touching the soldier awaking (‘awoke’) ‘him once’. Again we see this powerful and hopeful image of the ‘kind old sun’ sun being able to revive life with it knowledge and it’s seen role of endearment, however up until the word ‘until’ used as a disjunction, the poem suddenly breaks from its compassionate and gentle concern tone of voice to a tone of despair and anguish because the sun is unable to wake the soldier as we would have though it to be, reinforcing the fact that the sun was never able to do so regardless, highlighting its futility to lost human life and also highlighting the tone of despair overall.
As we move along from the first stanza and its tone change from the word ‘until’ into stanza two, Owen begins to add a lot of pauses or breaks with the use of the dash (-), possibly prompting us to pause as well and possibly to recollect what has been said so far so that we may reflect or question about the sun and its initial false hope created. From here, there are a total of three rhetorical questions and Owen’s purpose of this is to enable us to see how he is losing faith in humanity. The questions in which...