The Show Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Category: Owen

Type of paper: Essay

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I believe Owen may have meant this to reflect the same situation as that of the majority of the country, and that many people are not involved in the war and prefer to stay emotionally detached from it. Personally, I feel that this creates a certain amount of sadness for the reader because it effectively shows how divided the country may have been even in times of war. This narration style also seems to show sadness from Owen as well, but because the speaker is looking down on the scene, also continues to somewhat trivialise it, continuing the feeling of bitterness that the reader picks up from Owen from many aspects of his poetry.

In The Show Owen also ensure that he has a strong ending to the poem, an important technique for him to manipulate our overall thoughts and feelings about the poem, as well as to create the shock that we feel in the final stanza of the poem. One technique he includes to achieve this is the use of repetition. The line Showed me its feet, the feet of many men is one example of this, because the repetition of feet creates a build up of suspense and also puts the thought in the readers mind that it could be emphasising how many pairs of feet (or how many dead bodies) there are lying on the battlefield.

The following line And the fresh-severed head of it, my head again uses the repetition of head, but here it is used more to create a shocking ending to the poem, as repeating it together with a pronoun emphasises the shock the speaker feels at finding his head on the floor. The reader feels just as shocked as the speaker does, and as a result it means that we feel more disgusted by the poem. To add to this, in this last couple of lines the style of writing becomes more specific, as we are told that the speaker is seeing his fresh-severed head.

This sudden change in writing style from the vague description in the rest of the poem as well as the graphic imagery ensures that we find the end especially disgusting, and the contrast is even more of a shock. I believe this is a clever technique that Owen uses because it means that the heightened disgust ensures that we pity the soldiers and further hate the very idea of war, which I believe is what comes across in many of his poems on the subject.

The technique of a contrasting ending is also shown in the poem Dulce et Decorum Est, as in the last stanza the rhythm of the poem changes and becomes more of a rant directed at the reader. This is shown by the use of the word you frequently throughout the final stanza, making it much more personal and much more directly angry. Like The Show, the language also changes in terms of the imagery, with the final stanza of Dulce containing much more graphic imagery, such as white eyes writhing in his face.

It has the same effect, in that the reader feels shock at the change in style and disgust at the more horrific language as it becomes easier to visualise. However, the final part of Dulce also emphasises the overall tone of the poem, in that because of the way it feels like a rant, Owens bitterness and resentment strongly shows. This is more of a contrast to The Show because there, the tone of the poem seems continuous all the way through, in that much of it comes across without an obvious tone and this does not change in its final stanza.

Overall, I believe that Owen uses a variety of techniques to effectively show his opinions and feelings on war, from anger to resentment and from bitterness to sadness. I feel that many of his poems communicate his feelings to the reader effectively and leave us with many different things to think about. However, I feel that the general feeling Owen had about war was one of intense dislike due to the combination of the main emotions he shows and his obvious distress at the injuries and damage the soldier suffered, and the methods he used successfully portrayed that to the reader.

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