Readers engage with literature and experience conflict, inducing an emotional and psychological response, without truly experiencing the matter themselves. This allows the responder to perceive the impact of war on individuals. Wilfred Owens’ poetry on war can be described as a passionate expression of Owen’s outrage over the horror of war and pity for the young soldiers sacrificed in it. Wilfred Owen, in his poems ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ and ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, indicates this context when he highlights the honest cruelty and waste of war and the calamitous effect it has on humans. The reader encounters the pure misuse of human life and the hardships of conflict in the military.

There are many contributing factors to the loss of life for soldiers. In the poem, Anthem For Doomed Youth Owen expresses how the soldiers lives were unnecessarily lost and wasted. Ironically, Owen undermines the concept of ana anthem by emphasising that there is nothing to celebrate but ‘Doomed Youth’. This poem was set during the First World War and describes the conditions of the millions of soldiers who died fighting for their countries. Owen establishes the theme of his sonnet with the rhetorical question ‘What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?’ referring to the funeral bells that should be rung for those who have died and been treated like cattle.This quote solemnly discusses death in war and shows how those who die in war do not receive the normal ceremonies that are used to honour the dead. Further on Owen has personified guns ‘Only the monstrous anger of the guns’ where he says that the battle field is insane. He also conveys the potential damage of the weapons and makes fell the predicament soldiers in at the mercy of an uncontrollable range. In the last stanza, Owen writes ‘but in their eyes shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall’. Here Owen illustrates the families reactions to finding that their loved ones have died by making an effective comparison that the readers can relate to. Readers recognise that death is not glorious and that the the real ‘enemies’ are those who arranged the soldiers’ daily meetings with it.

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Dulce Et Decorum Est another poem by Wilfred Owen explores the hardships that were given to soldiers. In the poem, you are immersed in the atmosphere of war. These are the trenches of World War 1, full of mud, death and misery.

The poet wants the reader to know that warfare is anything but glorious so paints a gloomy, realistic, human picture of life at the frontline. He leaves us in no doubt about his feelings.