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.