Tma02 Dulce Et Decorum Est

Task 1
1a)Describe what effects the poem has on you.
My initial response to the poem was that of sadness and I was left with vivid images of the horrors of war. After several readings I felt guilty about the disparity between my life and the fate of the young men fighting for our country.

1b) Say what you think the subject matter is.
The first stanza depicts the soldiers returning from the front line and the second stanza describes a gas attack and the death of a soldier unable to fit his gas mask in time. The third stanza is Owen remembering the attack and the fourth stanza places the reader into the poem and the atrocities of war, challenging their opinions of war as noble and patriotic.

Word count: 110

2a) Identify three of the techniques used in the first eight lines.
  * Simile ‘like old beggars under sacks’ and ‘coughing like hags’
  * Alliteration ‘Knock-kneed’ and ‘men marched’
  * Imagery ‘haunting flares’ ‘blood-shod. All went lame’ and ‘Drunk with fatigue’

2b) Comment on what the effects of the three techniques might be.
Owen’s use of alliteration, ‘knock-kneed’ and ‘men marched’ forces the sounds of the words to draw your attention to the image of the soldiers ravaged by war. The similes ‘like old beggars’ and ‘coughing like hags’ portray images of vulnerability and disfiguration. This dispels our perceptions of a soldier being strong and a figure of protection. Owen’s imagery is very visual and bold. He dehumanises the soldiers and likens their treatment to that of animals, ‘blood shod. All went lame.’ It helps to set the scene of trench life with reference to mud and artillery, ‘we cursed through sludge.’
These techniques enable Owen to produce a more vivid and memorable message. They are very effective at unmasking the glorified attitudes of war.      

Word count: 148

3a) Give your interpretation of the meaning of the poem.
Owen’s ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ is a protest about the senseless loss of life in war and...