Wilfred Owen and the Horror and Futility of War

Essay by InfinithHigh School, 10th grade July 2004

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

Downloaded 32 times

Wilfred Owen was born into a middle class English family in eighteen ninety-three. He was the eldest child in the family of four children, he was the son of a railway official named Tom Owen. He aspired to win two scholarships but was unsuccessful both times so he consequently moved to France to teach English. He continued teaching until 1915 until the situation there deteriorated due to the war. He returned to England and joined the Artist Rifles Corp, after his training he went to the front lines in France as an officer. In 1917 he was temporarily away from the field of battle with shellshock, he recuperated and returned to the front lines. In 1918 he won the military cross and had his first five poems published. Unfortunately, later in that year he was killed on the battlefield.

Wilfred was probably the most defining poet of World War II, his unique style of poetry gives a deep and varied account of the horror and futility of war.

The content of his literature could be placed into thee main categories. Before war, during war, and the after effects of war. However, there are also many other individual pieces that could not be placed in these categories. This shows his vast knowledge and experience in innumerable aspects of war. His experience ranges from his days training to become an officer. His courage in battle that earned him the military cross. His shellshock and subsequent hospital stay. All of this gave him an unparalleled background in which to describe and try to inform us of the reality of war. He does this by describing emotions associated with situations. He powerfully describes emotions such as sadness and hopelessness. Of being in a situation that is out of control and not being able...