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Literature and Politics - Essay Example

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All his poems deal with disillusionment and resentment that result from participating in a war that kills many in the name of serving one's country.
Owen is also highly disillusioned by war politics and the way its affects a large percentage of younger generation that joins the war. Owen understands that politicians usually cash in on the emotions of people and urge them to join the war. But that these soldiers later find out is truly disturbing. They realize that the war they had been fighting was unjust in many ways. It results in the death of millions, most of who are of innocent people and apart from that, it also robs young people of their hopes and dreams by turning them into senseless killers.
In the poem one soldier finds himself in hell with another solider that he had killed. Though both soldiers come from different countries, their hopes and dreams were the same. They realize that despite the differences due to which one killed the other, they were still very similar in many respects.
This poem is still a great deal subtler than most other war poems by Owen. The poet has tried to propagate against war and speak about war politics but no particular nation has been targeted. The meeting of soldiers that occurs in hell can be seen as a regular meeting between any two soldiers from any two countries in the world. By maintaining this ambiguity, the poet has tried to attract attention to the real issues addressed. Futility of war is the main issues and so is pity. While in some other poems, Owen has talked about 'charring of the emotions' that war leaves behind or 'the old lies' of sp-called honor and service to country, but in Strange Meeting, the poet is discussing the sheer senselessness of war- 'the undone years / The hopelessness'.

What is truly disturbing about war, according to Owen, is not just the killing involved but also the lifetime of guilt that accompanies such actions. Owen makes it clear speaking from experience that one is condemned to a lifetime of regret when they participate in a war and are forced to end many innocent lives. It is then the 'the truth untold /The pity of war, the pity war distilled' that keeps them awake at nights. In the preface to his collection of poems, Owen explained that: "This book is not about heroes. English Poetry is not yet fit to speak of them. Nor is it about deeds or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, dominion or power, except War. Above all, this book is not concerned with Poetry. The subject of it is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity"

The poem is thus concerned with pity and sheer pointlessness of war. This is closer to propaganda poem because it contains a clear message against war politics and those who initiate the same. One of the most commonly used propaganda technique is directing people's attention to 'post-traumatic stress disorder' that results from participating in war. This is an important and effective technique since people can relate to it and it helps the audience views soldiers as victims of war. The very term propaganda means communicating information in support of a certain viewpoint. In this poem, the poet is not being objective. He is using his poetic skills to speak against war and politicians. His stand on war is clear ...Show more


War poetry is always fraught with allusions to politics, cruel motives of governments and unwanted deaths of millions of soldiers. Wilfred Owen's poem are a combination of all this but still maintain a subtle touch. His primary objective is to propagate against war and this goal he accomplishes with vivid imagery, effective verses and poignancy…
Author : magali08
Literature and Politics
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