In ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen an important theme that interested me was the lie. That it is not glorious and it is not “sweet and honourable to die for your country.” Through the use of vivid figurative language and effective poetic techniques such as rhyme, rhythm and alliteration Owen conveys a memorable experience creating horrific graphic imagery which develops his anti war theme.Through the use of personal pronouns, Owens expresses his own experience, detailing how the soldiers were mislead into believing fighting for your country was rewarding. This is important as Owen vividly expressed the opposite idea.
In the first line, “Bent doubled like old beggars under sacks”, gives you a snap shot of what is not expected of a soldier, while comparing them to “old beggars”, uncomfortable and undesirable. Then Owen goes onto describe the flares as haunting to the soldiers. This suggests that they are sick of war and despise the constant reminders of it.The rhyming pattern of AB, AB, CD, CD reflects the organisation and the vigorous marching of the soldiers. This image of strong and repetitive steps is contradicted by the use of alliteration on the deep ‘M’ sound. “Men marched asleep.”
The message of strength is contradicted by the lack of rhythm. This indicates confusion, tiredness and portrays the soldiers as being defeated. Flash backs remind the soldiers of the horrible, disgusting duties they were forced to cope with and the irresistible urge to escape. Words like drowning, guttering and choking show the on-going trauma the soldiers were put through and the waste of human life, only to consolidate the lie.In’The Dam’ by Patric Dickinson the opening line contains the personal pronoun ‘our’ showing like Dulce Et Decorum Est the poem is written from a personal point of view. This creates more interest in his idea as you can clearly see he has been through the experience.
The main idea about a lie can be seen through how the villagers were misled into believing that a dam built in the village would be beneficial to them. “And we are lucky of course.” Sarcastically they were told they were lucky when the truth was they had lost more than they had gained.”Our vally till they came.” Our, showing ownership, while the simple language conveys the strong point of the loss of ownership. All the villagers came together. “Everyone worked on it.” It was a source of income. “Good jobs; they were too well paid. ” Although they were paid well, the real cost of it was their homes. In both poems the theme about the lie interested me as it can be clearly seen.
In Dulce Et Decorum Est, the soldiers believe it is honourable to fight for your country, although Owen shows how disgusting wart really is, proving what they were led to believe was a lie. The same idea in The Dam about a lie is expressed. When the villagers were led to believe a dam would be profitable when in reality it was a lie.