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Verse 1:- The Story This poem is based on a true story that took place in 1916. Owen had gone ahead of his troop of soldiers to check the land ahead. When.

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Presentation on theme: "Verse 1:- The Story This poem is based on a true story that took place in 1916. Owen had gone ahead of his troop of soldiers to check the land ahead. When."— Presentation transcript:

1 Verse 1:- The Story This poem is based on a true story that took place in 1916. Owen had gone ahead of his troop of soldiers to check the land ahead. When he returned he discovered that a gas attack had taken place and that one of his soldiers had lost his gas mask Like the others in the troop he had to watch his comrade die before his eyes. V.1 Describes the soldiers as they trudge back to their base camp for rest. They are so exhausted they do not hear gas shells exploding near them. V. 2 Deals with the death of the soldier. He has lost his gas mask and since no one has a second mask, all are forced to watch their comrade die before their eyes. V. 3 This poem was written in Craiglockart and it was common for Owen to awake at nights after having a nightmare where he sees this soldier coming towards him begging for help and dying at his feet. This verse is referred to as the “Recurring nightmare”. V. 4 This is the message of the poem. The poem is directed at people like Jessie Pope who wrote patriotic poems to encourage people to join the Army and fight for their country. His message is simple, but very powerful, it is that if these people could see what happens to those they encourage to join the Army then they would not be so blasé about encouraging men to join up.

2 Verse 1:- Images of Soldiers Returning to Base
The people that are being described are soldiers. “Bent double” “old beggars” “knock kneed” all suggest that these are not British soldiers but wretches of society. These two phrases are referred to Similies. A similie is a figure of speech that compares something we are not familiar with to something we are familiar with Similie 1:- The way the soldiers look is compared to what old beggars look like Simile 2:- The objectionable coughing they make is compared to what we hear from hags we hear in the street. The Point:- The point of these similes is to suggest that what we see in these soldiers is the affects of war. Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. The verb “cursed” suggests two ideas, both related to each other. i. The conditions like the mud and rain etc. are so awful that the soldiers are swearing at it. ii. As they are returning they are swearing at the war and what it has done to them. The poem suggests that both are valid at the same time. The verb used in the line above “trudge” suggests how tired the men are “Men marched asleep” is a metaphor. This is like a similie because it also compares. However it suggests more than one instance of comparison A metaphor cannot be taken to be literally true. The men are NOT asleep, but they are so tired they look as though they are asleep This is the affect of war on the men. One of the great dreads of trench warfare was the constant threat of gas shells dropping among them. The irony is that these men are so tired and exhausted they not only don’t hear the shells they also don’t react to them. One thing they fear most is happening and they are too tired to realise it is happening. “Drunk with fatigue” is also a metaphor. The men are not drunk but they are so tired and exhausted after the battle that if someone were to see them they would consider they were looking at a group of drunk men The point of this metaphor is to show the affect of war on these soldiers. The “haunting flares” are the flashes of the shells as they explode behind them in the distant. A flare is something that is used to signal attention for rescue. The soldiers are seeing these as they return home.

3 Verse 2:- Images of the Soldier dying
These four words are effectively three sentences. They create a sudden spring into action when compared with the long sentences that precede them. The first two words are monosyllabic stabs and “Quick boys” just as acute. The dash that follows introduces a pause before we return to the picture of the soldiers. In their dazed condition the soldiers are unable to put their helmets on quickly The use of the word “ecstasy” suggests how frantic they are to get the helmets on. In this poem Owen uses the words older meaning here: madness. Gas! Gas! Quick, boys - An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone was still yelling out and stumbling And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime. . Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. The images from the line above blend into the last line of the verse. The first phrase, a simile, suggests that the other soldiers are seeing as if they are looking at it from under the sea. The second image, a metaphor, continues the idea of water to suggest an appropriate death ie that of drowning. Because Phosgene gas has broken the blood vessels in the throat the soldier really is drowning: in his own blood, not in water. The helmets that were to protect the soldiers from the effects of gas did not always correctly fit. Sometimes soldiers had masks that were wrong for them. Because the gas was swirling all around the soldiers it looked to the soldiers that when looking out of their masks they were looking through mist. Phosgene was a green gas and with daylight behind it to the soldiers this looked like a green light that was swirling all around them. Both these phrases are metaphors. This phrase is a simile. It describes two things It describes the soldier dying under the effects of the gas. It is like a man staggering about in fire unable to get out. 2. It describes the effect of the gas. Phosgene was an acidic gas. To the soldier it is the same as being burnt in fire or being burnt with lime. Phosgene gas would attack the blood vessels in the throat causing substantial internal bleeding. The gas that the Germans used was called Phosgene. One reason the soldiers were so frantic to get their helmets on was because it took effect very quickly. “Yelling” and “Stumbling” already let us see that he is already collapsing under the effects of the gas.

4 Verse 3:- Recurring Nightmare
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. Owen was constantly haunted by the nightmare of one of his soldiers dying, in such a way, in front of him “helpless sight” has two meanings: During the actual event he could do nothing to help the soldier During the nightmare he had no control of what he was seeing. “helpless sight” is being used here as a Metaphor. The couplet rounds of with the death of the soldier. Owen describes his death with three verbs: “guttering, chocking, drowning” These verbs decrease in action. “guttering” is the most active. “drowning” is the least active. Therefore with the use of these verbs Owen is able to illustrate the death of the soldier.

5 Verse 4:- The Message If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, - My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. These six lines describe the sight that the men following the wagon were forced to see. At times they would see the white of the dead mans eyes start rolling in his face. At times when the wagon hit a stone the blood and froth would come out of the soldiers mouth. When that happened it would create a bitter and acidic taste in the air The use of the phrase “incurable sores” refers not just to the body but also to to the affect it will have on the other soldiers. They will never forget it The use of the phrase “innocent tongues” also refers to the soldier but more important to the soldiers and what they have to remember Owen use of the word “children” has two meanings He was aware than many who joined the army really were children who had been let in because the army were not particular. Children or not they increased numbers Although most were adults, they were so naïve about the war that in that sense they were indeed innocent. Although he disagrees completely with what was in Jessie Pope’s poem he still refers to these kind of people in sympathetic tems He is critical of their manner of encouraging the young to join up. The phrase “high zest”, points out how evangelical some had been in trying to persuade the young to join up. “Lie” has a capital letter. It is deliberate because Owen wants the reader to realise that this is a lie for all time. It is, in Owen’s mind, a universal lie for all time. Owen uses the adjective “smothering” dream as the only notion that those in Britain will understand what he has just described. “smothering dreams” is a Metaphor. The difference is that they will be smothered in comfort not in gas. “Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori” means: It is good and seemly to die for your contry. The use of the verb “flung” suggests a lack of care and concern. That is not what is being suggested here. The group are under attack and have no time. They need to get away quick. There were many who joined up whose only ambition was to win medals etc. Many had been encouraged by loved ones who would boast to friends what bravery they had shown or medals they had one. Sassoon wrote in a poem “you only love us when we win medals” The “you” in the poem refers to Jessie Pope. That year she had written a pro-war poem called “The Call” where she had stated that those who did not join up and fight for their country were cowards This poem was first called “Jessie Pope”, then it was to be called “To a certain Poetess” before its final title This poem is, in some sense, a reply to the views that Jessie made in her poem.

6 Elements of the poem to write about
The Title:- The important points about the title are:- i. It is a pro-war slogan that suggests we are going to read pro-war poem. ii. It is destroyed by the content of the poem; the death of the soldier. iii. By the end of the poem Owen refers to this notion as being a “Lie”. The reader realises the the real title of the poem is: It is NOT good seemly to die for your country. iv. This is done by contrasting what the title says with the content of the poem. Word Choice:- The important points with word choice are:- i. In verse 2 & 4 Owen uses very dramatic word choice. ii. His intention is to make the death of the soldier as dramatic as he can to drive home just how horrible it is to die in war. He profoundly believes that it is not good to die in war. So he uses vocabulary to emphasise this point. iii. You need to pick around 4-5 quotations to show how through the words Owen uses he demonstrates how awful it is to die in war.

7 Elements of the poem to write about
The Theme:- The important points about the theme are:- i. The idea that to die in war is glorious and good. ii. Shown to be wrong by:- a. Verse 2 Slide 3 b. Verse 4 Slide 5 iii. Story being used to destroy the title of the poem Imagery:- The important points about imagery are:- i. The use of Similes and Metaphors a. Verse 1 Slide 2 b. Verse 2 Slide 3 c. Verse 4 Slide 5 ii. The idea that pictures create a strong and visual impression. Imagery is word pictures. iii. Take 4 to 5 examples of imagery and demonstrate the point they are making.

8 Essay Question Choose a poem about an incident. Write a brief account of the poem and show how the poet made the incident stick in your mind. Section 1:- The poem I have chosen is “Dulce et decorum est” by Wilfred Owen. Section 2:- Briefly describe the story of the poem. Section 3:- State what the two areas you have chosen are and briefly [ in no more than one line ] state why you consider that area made the poem stick in your mind. Section 4:- Examine in DETAIL [ that means with quotations ] why the first area made the poem stick in your mind. Section 5:- Examine in DETAIL [ that means with quotations ] why the second area made the poem stick in your mind. Second 6:- Give a conclusion in which you go over [briefly] the reasons why this poem stuck in your mind.

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