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Essay Horror Of War

The Horrors of War in Wilfred Owen's Poem, Dulce et Decorum Est

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The Horrors of War in Wilfred Owen's Poem, Dulce et Decorum Est

From the earliest records of history, accounts of war have been portrayed as valiant acts of heroism. Children and adults alike have gathered together to hear tales of war and its glory. From the stories of Alexander the Great to recent-day movies like Saving Private Ryan, war has been praised and exalted with words such as bravery, honor, and freedom. However, Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" shows the ugly, horrible side of fighting. By use of gripping words and vivid descriptions, Owen paints incredible pictures of what World War I was really like. He tears away the glory and drama and reveals the real essence of fighting: fear, torture, and death. No…show more content…

Then, "An ecstasy of fumbling / Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time / But someone still was yelling out and stumbling [. . .]. " Everyone has managed to put on his mask, except one unfortunate soldier. As the mustard gas seeps into his lungs, he begins to scream and jerk around, but it is too late for his companions to save him. "[W]atch the white eyes writing in his face / His hanging face / [. . .] at every jolt, the blood / Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs [. . .] / Of vile, incurable sores on the innocent tongue [. . .]. " Nowhere in the entire poem is there any mention of how wonderful and brave the soldiers feel at being given the chance to die for their country.

Second, striking similes are used throughout the whole poem. The speaker does not content himself with using age-old phrases or comparisons. His similes are unique and gripping. "Like old beggars under sacks," "like a man in fire or lime," and "like a devil's sick of sin," help to add vivid mental pictures to the poem. The soldier's uniforms are ripped and threadbare from all the fighting, and they are so exhausted that they bend over as they walk. The man that breathed the mustard gas is in such incredible pain that all he can do is jerk about as if he were on fire. After a while, the gas causes his face to sag until he resembles something from the horrors of hell. The speaker's similes are ones that cause the reader to stop and just think about what is being described

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Man has been fighting since times immemorial. But with the passage of time, wars have become more and more terrible. The 20th century witnessed two world wars. Hundreds of millions young men were killed. Cities were razed to the ground. Even hospitals and schools did not escape destruction.

Now when science has invented atom and hydrogen bombs, Supersonic planes, long range missiles and nuclear weapons, war has become a most terrifying thing to think of.

In ancient times, only the soldiers fought. The civilians were left in peace. Modern war makes no difference between soldier and civilians. Bombers rain death from sky. They destroy everything: military targets, aerodromes, factories, hospitals and homes. After a bombing raid, a city gives a deserted look of suffering, pain and death. The water supply is disrupted. Men, women and children are found buried alive in debris. It seems that the Angel of Death has visited and breathed on their faces his deadly breath.

The atom bomb is truly horrible. A single bomb dropped on Hiroshima in Japan killed more than two million men within a few minutes. Now science has perfected far more destructive hydrogen bombs and nuclear weapons. If third world war breaks out, whole nations will be finished within minutes. As time passes, more and more countries are making atomic weapons, the global military expenditure has reached the alarming level of $600 billion a year. Today the world’s stock pile of nuclear weapons is equivalent to sixteen billion tons of TNT which can destroy this earth ten times over. Every man, woman or a child living on earth claims an individual share of 3.5 tons of TNT.

Earlier the flames of war spread slowly. Now there are planes and missiles which travel even faster than the sound. The long range missiles carry atomic war heads to far off continents in the fraction of a minute travelling with speed of twenty thousand miles per hour or more. Moscow has a current estimated total of 333SS-20 deployments. America has 108 pershing-2 and 464 cruise missiles.

If the air race goes forward, a total disaster of the humanity is sure. It will take only a few minutes because with deployment of missiles the time to take decisions isn’t there as the flight time for missiles, from Czechoslovakia to Germany is just three minutes. Therefore, either man should put an end to war or war will lead to an end of mankind.

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