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Word Count: 1,199
This poem by Wilfred Owen was a form of moral propaganda Wilfred Owens purpose in writing it was to convince the deluded British public that they had been lied to He knew from first hand experience the terror pain horror and inhumanity of war this made him feel disgusted and enraged at how different war was to the impression that men signing up to fight were given He hated what men were put through in the name of justice and his anger and contempt for those who upheld this notion of It is sweet and fitting to die for your country is superbly voiced in this moving poem He enforces his argument using different viewpoints which appeal to different human emotions He uses horror panic empathy and guilt to make the reader believe what he is saying The poem tells of men coming back from the front lines drunk with fatigue As they cursed through sludge there is a gas attack One man does not get his gas mask on in time and dies a horrible death At the end of the poem Owen says that if my friend had been there and seen the man dying upon the wagon then they would not be so happy to say the old lie dulce et decorum est pro patria mori The first stanza introduces the weary soldiers starting with bent double like old beggars under sacks This is not at all how most people would think of soldiers Instead of proud and tall marching back from victory they are compared to old beggars bent over double It goes on to say coughing like hags we cursed through sludge This once again is in total contrast to the expected portrayal of a soldier Coughing like hags makes them sound old and weary with none of the pride and health of brave young men They trudge towards distant rest this means they are leaving the front lines
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