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.

One Reply to “2.9 Reading Response”

  1. Maddy, as requested, I have read through this draft response for 2.9 and I like your initial analysis. Some things I would suggest:
    * I see that you have followed the writing structure from the booklet, but be aware that this is a personal reading response, so when you are presenting ideas about the poem (in any paragraph), you can personally respond to information at any time.
    – Well done for relating Wilfred Owen’s bravery when confronting the misconceptions about war, to your own personal challenges when speaking out against “bullies”. Make sure you have given enough context about how Wilfred Owen was different in this way.
    * When explaining language features, make sure that you relate back to the author’s purpose from these examples. I.e. What ideas/understandings do we as the reader get from these lines? Make sure your final points about why the language techniques were used, is clear.
    * You begin to include quotations in the first part of your response, but you do not include enough specific supportive evidence from the poem to support your ideas overall. Look for examples that directly support your discussion and include these 🙂

    I hope that these comments help. Because you are early for the Response 1 deadline, you will have ample time to strengthen this piece. Well done.

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