2.9 Reading Response

Futility – Wilfred Owen 

The poem Futility by Wilfred Owen starts off by talking about soldiers moving another into the sunlight in hope of brining him back to life. It’s a cold snowy morning in France and even though the sun is usually the thing that provides life to many things, it cannot help this young, cold, dying soldier.  A reference to the “kind old sun” is made by using personification to give the sun emotions that the reader can relate to. I believe Wilfred Owen chose to include this to show us the sun in a different light, we see the sun as if its seen a-lot in its “old” age. I think that we are also shown the compassion it provides to all who fall under it on this cold day. Throughout the rest of the poem we see how all hope is being lost as the writer talks about how the soldier is lacking movement when he asks, “To hard to stir?”. This makes me think how the men usually have faith in the sun as it gives life to the plants and animals but now are loosing themselves as the sun seems to not even be trying to help their friend.

I wanted to study this poem because I have read other pieces from Wilfred Owen and I like how he tells the reader what exactly happened during the war. He shows us a theme throughout his writing that war is a pointless activity. We see this in the poem when he writes “fields half-sown”, this sentence tells the reader how the man and many other soldiers who have past are only given half a life, much like the fields which have only been half done. It makes the reader see how these men had so much more to live for rather than dying on the battle field with a half fulfilled life. I think he does this to show the public what really went on, he wanted the truth to be uncovered. His writing has changed how I see war, I know now and can emotionally feel the trauma of this haunting past. I would recommend this text to others because it’s a short read showing a different side to war. Also because it’s shown me how these soldiers lived, it’s really helped me to relate to these poor men. The poem shows the absolute faith and commitment these soldiers have for each other, how they will try anything to save one another.

To me this text and Wilfred Owens writing teaches the reader very valuable information about the world we live in today. I believe he shows us the very brutal truth about war through the use of his writing. In this poem we see men standing up for each other and thats more than I can say for today. “It’s touch awoke him once” shows us how the soldiers helping the dying men know that the sun has given him life once before and are desperately going to try anything to save their friend. This sentence proves to the reader that these men had time for each other, that they cared for one another. In everyones busy lives there seems to be no time for anyone else, all I can see is  every man for himself. These young men were forced to fight for their lives and they still had time to look out for and commemorate one another. I think Wilfred Owen showed us their compassion to show us the hidden side of war, I think it was used to help represent the idea that these men were humans fighting in a machine war, how they were fighting the wrong battle. I believe the world we live in today really needs to start focusing on whats important, we need to look after the land the soldiers helplessly fought for, we need to stop focusing on social media when other countries are still at war and we need to share our fortunes with countries who cant afford to feed their selves let alone a family.  Wilfred Owens writing proves that even at the darkest of times soldiers proved themselves as caring humans. This makes me think how today there are no longer people looking out for each other in their day to day lives.

After reading Wilfred Owens work it really proves to me how brave you have to be to speak out about something everyone else just considers normal. The point to Wilfreds Owen writing was to present the truth about war, this has swayed my judgement on war because he’s really uncovered things no one else wants to bring up. Like in the sentence “even in France,” showing the reader that even in this place were so much blood has been drawn, the suns touch should give its life to a soldier. It tells the reader that the sun is forgiving even in this god forsaken place. He represents the idea’s of how war is an unnecessary fight numerous times throughout his writing by proving to us that war is pointless, contrary to what most of the population believed at the time. This relates to me on a much smaller level because everyday I have trouble watching girls in this school fight or say mean things behind each others backs about things that aren’t even important. One day I truly hope to be as brave as Wilfred Owen, I hope one day I can dare to be different and face these “bullies” in my life in the way Wilfred Owen was able to face his “bullies”. I want to change what the girls at school “consider normal” cause deep down I know its not.

Wilfred Owen is a talented writer who was faced with the traumas of war, but unlike his peers he decided to speak up. In my opinion this is what makes him stands out and this is how he was able to connect with the world today, generations later. This is inspiring in todays world as there is so much that no one talks about and that no one wants to confront, like third world countries not having enough food or global warming. Historically I am grateful that Wilfred Owen didn’t let us forget our past, the worlds mistakes. I’m grateful because hopefully we learnt from all those wasted lives, hopefully these young soldiers didn’t die for nothing.

2.4 Wilfred Owen Essay

2.4 Wilfred Owen Essay

In the poem Anthem for Doomed Youth and Exposure by the author Wilfred Owen language techniques are used to help me understand the main theme of how war is an unneeded exercise. I am going to talk about the similes and personification used in these two poems.

Anthem For Doomed Youth

A simile is used in the sentence “these who die as cattle”. Similes are used to compare two things, in this example it is used to compare the soldiers dying as how cattle die by attaching the characteristics of one thing to another. I believe the author used this example as we all know how stock cattle die. All at once, in the hundreds, tail to tail, following their leader to walk up the path to their already decided fate. The link between the soldiers and cattle is easily depicted by the reader and paints the picture I’ve described above, it sends a message to people about how these men dont need to follow in the footsteps of one another, they dont need to act as cattle do, they dont need to die. War is pointless and unwanted, unlike these brave soldiers who have a life at home and who’s families are waiting for their return.

Personification is the language techniques that allows an inanimate object to obtain a human quality. We are shown and example of this in the poem where its written “monstrous anger of the guns”. Guns are unable to be angry but the author has given them the human quality to help the reader connect to the sentence as humans can understand how it feels to be angry. Thanks to the author we as the reader are able to imagine what it’d would have been like to be the mind behind a gun. To me I think about how the gun has been portrayed as angry and how it scares the rivals,  even though the man behind it is emotionless due to the things they’ve seen. Wilfred Owen once said “all poets can do today is warn,” for me this quote alongside the personification used in the poem conveys the messages of how war is an unneeded exercise that turns people and their weapons evil.

Exposure

The idea of “exposure” (being dangerously exposed to the natural elements / weather) is represented throughout the poem. We first see it in the title with the word “Exposure”, from this we dont know if the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold but we have been introduced to the idea of exposure within the war. “Winds that knife us” is the next example of exposure in the poem. The sentence uses personification by allowing the wind to have stabbing abilities. We are able to understand how the wind is so cold or so strong that it is like painful stabs as the soldiers walk through it. As these soldiers are being put through treacherous  conditions we are once again shown the idea of how war forces the men to face activities that are completely unneeded, war is pointless.

The weather has been presented as an enemy in the poem. We see this all through the poem when for example the author uses the simile “like twitching agonies of men amongst its brambles.” It shows us how the strong winds are tangling the men up in the barbed wire, capturing them in these harsh conditions. As the enemy it is telling us that the weather is in some situations more deadly than a bullet. Hundreds upon hundreds of soldiers are caught in a vicious cycle of fighting off their countries enemies and attempting fight off the enemy of weather.

In Dulce Et Decorum Est, Wilfred Owen uses yet another simile to continue developing his message of how war is pointless.  Coughing like hags” is used  to compare the soldiers coughing, to a hag. This was used to show that even though the soldiers are young, their bodies having been put through so much trauma that they become older inside than they are outside, leaving them “coughing like hags”. This is disturbing as the youth should be able to enjoy their young lungs by taking deep breaths without struggling to breathe or gasping through their muffled lungs. Along with this disturbing insight into the war that Wilfred Owen allows us to see, the reader becomes moved as the more they read the more they are able to understand the true horrors of war. They are able to see the effects on the young, healthy men that are supposed to have long fulfilled lives but instead are robbed of there homes and families. Most of these men joined a lost cause, most never made it home. Thus showing the reader once again how war was an unneeded activity.
The last example of personification that links these poems together, comes in the phrase “haunting flares”. This language technique has effected how the reader see the “flare” by giving it a human quality. The word “haunting” creates a looming feeling of darkness and a shadow of terror as the flare destructs everything in its way. The sentence is unsettling to the reader because it teaches us that these flares, shells or bombs that were dropping had become inescapable, leaving the men to be swallowed into the darkness that is death itself. The sentence “haunting flares” also leads me as the reader to believe that these bombs will not be forgotten, the will always be there, floating around. We will not here the screams, we will not see the bodies, but we will remember what they did to our soldiers as they continue to haunt us many years later. With this example we are once again proven how these soldiers were unrightfully striped of their lives and families. War was an unneeded exercise.
After reading the three poems above all by Wilfred Owen, I am able to make a clear link between the similes and personification used to portray the idea of how war was pointless, war was unneeded and how war unfairly took away the lives of many young soldiers who left behind their homes, families and unfinished legacies.

Exposure – Language techniques

“Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knife us”
– This is an example of personification, the east winds are ‘knifing’ the author. In other words they are stabbing the author with cold. This language feature is used instead of just saying that the wind is ‘cold’ as it adds more interest. Its saying that the wind is so icy it’s piercing through them.

“Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous, But nothing happens.”
– The author uses listing in this way to slow the piece down. It gives time to set the scene, they’re scared its freezing and nothing is happening to interest them. Also the emotive language used gives insight into what the soldiers are thinking. They have confused feelings about the silence, wondering why nothing is happening; these feelings set the scene of what the soldiers feel.

“But nothing happens.”
– This phrase is repeated at the end of multiple stanzas throughout the piece. This is partly an oxymoron as it is used at the end of a verse which clearly has gunfire at the start. “Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence.” Yet it still says that nothing had happened. But the phrase “But nothing happens” is for the most part used to add to the feeling of slowness which the poem depicts. It’s repetition is too emphasise the, cold slow deaths/pace of the soldiers/poem. This phrase is also used at the end which is a nice touch to finish of the poem, saying that all that has happened during the poem, does not matter; it says that nothing of importance has happened in the whole poem.

Exposure – Wilfred Owen

The idea of “exposure” (being dangerously exposed to the natural elements / weather) is represented throughout the poem. We first see it in the title with the word “Exposure”, from this we dont know if the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold but we have been introduced to the idea of exposure within the war. “Winds that knife us” is the next example of exposure in the poem, with this example we are able to understand how the wind is so cold or so strong that it is like painful stabs as the soldiers walk through it. “mad gusts tugging on the wire” sets the scene for the sentence “men amongst its brambles”. It shows us how the strong winds are tangling the men up in the barbed wire, capturing them in these harsh conditions. “air that shudders black with snow” this is telling us how the freezing temperatures these men are facing could likely be more deadly than a bullet itself. “clouds sag stormy” is another example of exposure as it paints a picture of how heavy the clouds are, as if they’re threatening to once again leave the soldiers shivering and soaked.  “we drowse sun-dozed” tells us that after all the harsh, cold weather these men are now exposed to the sun which leaves their bodies drowsy. Over all throughout this poem we learn how exposure was very dangerous to these men stuck in trenches, so dangerous it had potential to be more dangerous than the guns, bombs or enemies. It was a silent killer.

The weather has been presented as an enemy in the poem. We see this all through the poem when for example the author uses the sentence “flights of bullets streak the silence, less deadly than the air that shudders black with snow” this shows how exposure is presented as the enemy as it is telling us that the weather is more deadly than a bullet.

Anthem For Doomed Youth

Vocabulary – I think the author of this poem has chosen words like anthem in the title “Anthem for Doomed Youth” to show the reader how the younger generations were living in a  world where their main priority was to go to war. How these children were brought into a cruel world that praised fighting and the death of their enemies. This help me understand that these children were  dying young, following the anthem of the past.

Another example of a compelling word the author has used is demented. “demented choirs of welling shells”. This sentence alone paints a vivid picture in the readers head of a loud out of tone screech coming down on the men fighting. It shows to me the men attempting to  run and escape the shells, but  the high pitch screams distracted them making them stumbling to the ground. Allowing me to understand how the men over come with sell-shock from the “demented choirs of welling shells”.

Language Techniques – A simile is used in the sentence “these who die as cattle”. Similes are used to compare two things, in this example it is used to compare the soldiers dying as how cattle die by attaching the characteristics of one thing to another. I believe the author used this example as we all know how stock cattle die. All at once, in the hundreds, tail to tail, following their leader to walk up the path to their already decided fate. The link between the soldiers and cattle is easily depicted by the reader and paints the picture I’ve described above, it sends a message to people about how these men dont need to follow in the footsteps of one another, they dont need to act as cattle do, they dont need to die.

Personification is the language techniques that allows an inanimate object to obtain a human quality. We are shown and example of this in the poem where its written “monstrous anger of the guns”. Guns are unable to be angry but the author has given them the human quality to help the reader connect to the sentence as humans can understand how it feels to be angry. Thanks to the author we as the reader are able to imagine what it’d would have been like to be the mind behind a gun. To me I think about how the gun has been portrayed as angry and how it scares the rivals,  even though the man behind it is emotionless due to the things they’ve seen.

What has been included – The word “demented” alone paints a negative picture in my head as it makes me think of something broken or out of place. It shows the reader how the poet thinks about war in general, how its not right. This example has been chosen by the poet to show the reader how those people who experienced war were blinded by the glamour of the war, how they block out the crazy “demented” side just to follow orders of the men above them.

To me I see the sentence “drawing-down of blinds” as an end to a group of people, who died for the greed of mankind. The poet seems to be portraying a positive idea with this, as even though a negative aspect of the people dying is used, the sentence also shows the idea of the bringing down of an evil era in our world. It’s the end line of the poem and shows respect to those who have died, while also giving the reader a way to see light at the end of the tunnel.

 

The role of the author

Anthem For Doomed Youth

Wilfred Owen, 1917

The author doesn’t like the war and what it brings to innocent people. From the poem I came to the understanding that he had to leave behind his family, friends and loved ones, hurting them in the process.

“Die as cattle” = men are expendable in comparison to men and their personal lives 

Very religious  

Language Techniques Task

Simile – “Coughing like hags” in this example of a language technique, the writer is using a simile to compare the soldiers coughing to a hag. This was used to show that even though the soldiers are young, their bodies having been put through so much trauma that they become older inside than they are outside, leaving them “coughing like hags”. This is disturbing as the youth should be able to enjoy their young lungs by taking deep breaths without the hassle of coughing.

Listing – “He plunges at me, guttering , choking, drowning.”  Listing is used to build understanding for the reader on what is happening. In this case listing is used to show the reader the acts the soldiers are going through as the gas overtakes their bodies. Each of the words used creates a picture of what is happening to the men. The picture that is shown to us is about a man who has got his gas mask on in time but now has to watch his fellow soldiers gasp for air. We also are able to see a man who is struggling to breath in clean air lunging towards the man.

Imperative – “Gas! GAS! Quick , boys!” This language technique is used to challenge the reader to believe or think about what the writer is saying, a command. For this sentence in the poem it used with exclamation marks and capitals to show the reader how important it is to these boys that they listen and that they act fast, their life may depend on it.

Dulce et decorum est – Wilfred Owen

Dulce et decorum est was written by Wilfred Owen to emphasise the irony of his situation and how he blamed the war was “carrying on beyond reason”.

Died @ 25.

After school he became a teaching assistant and in 1913 went to France for two years to work as a language tutor.

“Dulce et decorum est” translates to, it is sweet and proper to die for ones country.

It is said he wrote the majority of his poetry in hospital while suffering from shell shock (may have bias).

Diagnosed with shell shock May 1917

His mentor was Siegfried Sacroom.

Born March 18th 1895

Got shot in the head from friendly five and survived.

Said to have been written for his mother.

HIs poem is about the horror soldiers went through.

Killed in action one week before armistice which ended in the war.

He began experimenting with poetry at age 17.

Said to have a protective side for his family, maybe he wrote it to worn others.

Written to shock civilians who thought war was glorious.

“Normal isn’t a word that has any mean for soldiers any more”.

Said to have written some of the worlds best war poems.

Only famous after he died (Posthumous).

3 siblings.

Poetry went through dramatic changes during and after psychiatry, Catharsis.

All his war poem we written within one year.

Now and Then

Winding up the hill and around the gravel road we followed as seagulls swung over the sea, singing soft symphonies. Their noise carried through the wind and up the hill towards the family house. Laughter had filled the air as Aunties, Uncles, Mums, Dads and Grandparents caught up in the kitchen. With a beer in one hand and tongs in the other my uncle stood at the BBQ cooking our lunch. Plates piled onto the table, sausages, salads, potato and bread. Tumies rumbled and the chatting simmered until all you could hear was the crunching of salad and an occasional “can you pass the butter”. Us kids quickly scoffed our food to escape to somewhere more exciting. We all got the “okay” from our parents and flew down the hill towards the hot summers day awaiting our arrival. A place where the sea met the shore, where the Pohutukawas dangled over the sand and a place where kids were set free. Exploring the warm blue seas, ragged rocks and waterholes. We stayed until the sun draped along the distant ocean. Gesturing us to make our way up to the house. Following our noses we dragged our tired legs up the hill, gently passing a ball back and forth. The day was ending and before I knew it I found myself rustling through the tent to get to my bed. My head hit the pillow. Closing my eyes I drifted off into a daze.

I return to this place, where I once ran free without a care in the world. So much has changed. Seagulls are scarce and there songs have turned into screeches. Laughter has been replaced with shouting as disagreements escalate. The suns dulled by smoke that reminisces from the burnt relationships, leaving nothing but ashes on the ground and darkened skies. Spine chilling winds tumble around my body as evil energies catch the drift of my untouched soul. The musty ocean spray crawls up my nose, circling around inside me, begging me to give in. Sand as solid as rock, enabling me to leave any sign I was even there. Instead imprinting in my soul with the recollection of an easier time. Leaves fell from wilted trees as I let out a single breath, this place is without a hurry, dying. Wandering around the jagged rocks I was left staring into the deep abyss of a waterhole. It looks back at me replaying the memories we created in the youth of this place. Everyone else has given up on this old place, and so have I. Winding down the hill and around the gravel road for the last time, a trail runs past my nose and down my chin leaving me with nothing but a soiled memories and an empty soul.

English Significant Connections Essay

English Significant Connections Essay

Gandhi

In the movie Gandhi directed by Richard Attenborough, Mahatma Gandhi shows us that to ensure the survival of a nation you have to be prepared to selflessly make a stand for change. Gandhi does this through using the power of his speech.

This aspect of survival is shown when Mahatma Gandhi says “I too am prepared to die but my friend, there is no cause in which I’m prepared to kill.” He says this because he doesn’t want to bring violence into his fight. He wants to ensure the freedom and equality of all people in the future. With violence comes death and people remember deaths and Gandhi knows this is something that will be held against him and his people in the future. I want to state that before Gandhi made this comment everyone in the audience was shouted and very riled up but the moment he starts talking the audience simmer down and through a panning shot we see the respect the people have towards him. This shows the great power and effect Gandhi’s words had. When Gandhi states this in front of a large audience including British Officers, it proves to us that his focus was on the long term survival of his nation.

A second aspect of survival would be how Gandhi managed to create equality inside the village he has built along with his followers. The purpose of the village was to create a living environment where everyone is equal. Gandhi manages to do this by having a roster of jobs for everyone, so all the jobs get swapped around. By sharing and changing all the jobs around no one person is on a higher level than the next, as one morning you may be washing the sheets and the next you could be emptying the toilets. But problems arise when Gandhi’s wife Kasturba Gandhi, refuses to cover the latrine. She says ‘It is work of the untouchables”. The camera angle used is at eye level with Kasturba and shows her talking whilst having her back to Mahatma. This allows to understand the seriousness of the statement as Kasturba is ashamed and nervous to tell Gandhi her complaint. Resulting in a strong argument in the pair as Gandhi questions whether or not he can get a whole nation to live like this when he can’t even persuade his wife. This proves to us that if Gandhi was able to create a small nation of people who could treat and be treated like equals, he could certainly do the same in a bigger situation.

Touching the void

In the non-fiction book Touching The Void by Joe Simpson, we follow Joe simpson and Simon Yates on a journey of physical and mental survival whilst climbing through dangerous mountain ranges. This is shown when Joe Simpson is left to survive all by himself in freezing temperatures with several injuries. Joe manages to find his way off the mountain through the power of his thoughts and self encouragement.

This aspect of survival is shown in the text while climbing along a dangerous mountain when Simon (being the only person on the mountain with Joe) cut the rope Joe supposedly leaving Joe plummeting the bottom of an icy crevasse, where with the aid of previous injuries he would of died from the fall. He was lucky enough to land on an ice shelf and survive the fall. Joe knows if he is going to get off the mountain, he has to do it by himself as Simon believes he would of died from the fall. However he did get off the mountain with the help of “the voice”, within his mind Joe set small goals to get himself one step closer to getting off the mountain. It helped keep his mind in a positive mindset. “The voice was clean and sharp and commanding. It was always right and I listened to it when it spoke and acted on its decisions.” If Joe didn’t have “the voice” helping him set small goals like “I had to get to the glacier” there is a massive chance he wouldn’t have got off the mountain. Without it he could’ve easily given up on himself, without he could’ve died on that mountain. When “the voice” speaks to Joe he proves to the reader that although it’s not always easy, your thoughts can be the deciding factor between life and death.

Joe Simpson is completely self absorbed the whole time as in that point in time he is focused on getting himself off of the mountain as it’ll determine whether he lives or dies. Whereas in comparison Mahatma Gandhi from the movie Gandhi is the polar opposite as his goal was to ensure the freedom of his nation, he approaches this goal by always thinking about the effects his actions would have on not only nation his nation, but the world. From this we learn that neither Gandhi nor Joe are better than another. Joe is alone on the mountain, he is not given a chance to think about helping anyone else, all he has to think about is making sure he gets off the mountain alive. Whereas Gandhi is confronted with people who need his help, with a nation who need a leader willing to selflessly fight for equality.

Rabbit Proof Fence

In the movie Rabbit Proof Fence directed by Philip Noyce, Molly Craig shows us that in order to survive you need to be able to make educated decisions without hesitation or doubt as hesitation and doubt will slow you down and in the end lead to failure. Molly does this by sticking to her decisions and being confident in what she already knows about her environment.

This aspect of survival is shown when Molly’s younger cousin Gracie continuously highlights the problems that may arise following Molly’s decisions. The girls are inside Jigalong camp, alongside many young Aboriginal girls who have been taken out of their own villages to grow up in a more “civilised” European environment. Molly wants nothing to do with the European ways so she quickly decides that they will need to escape. The first sign of survival we see is when Molly makes this decision that will ensure they get home to their mothers, but Gracie doesn’t have faith in Molly. Gracie speaks on behalf of Daisy and herself saying, “we like it here”

Titanic

In the movie Titanic directed by James Cameron,