Comparisons between Exposure and Spring Offensive Wilfred Owen is one of the most renowned poets of world war

one. He was born on the 18th March 1893 and worked in France as an English teacher. When war broke out, he like many others of his age joined the army and fought. During the war he was diagnosed with shellshock and was evacuated back to an English military hospital where he meet poet Siegfried Sasson. Sasson was Owen’s idol and conversed with him about poetry. This greatly improved his poems and inspired him to write from a completely new perspective of the war. One similarity between Spring Offensive and Exposure is Owen’s use of pathetic fallacy. Examples of this can be found in Spring Offensive: “And the summer oozed from their veins” This suggests the summer weather is mocking their mood. The word “oozed” implies something of a sickly nature, and could possibly be a metaphorical description of the battlefield or the soldier’s injuries. Evidence of this is in the word “veins” as this links back to potential injuries brought under the summer weather. The poem Exposure included similar techniques: “The merciless iced east winds knive us” This use of personification shows how the weather figuratively affects the health of the soldiers. The word “knives” proves this point as it infers the wind is sharp, harmful and capable of killing. Also the use of sibilance gives a sense of deceleration adding more emphasis on the line. What’s more, the caesura at the end separates the line from the next, allowing the full effect of the technique to settle in. This links back to Spring Offensive as they both use the weather to symbolise war injuries, the soldier’s morale and the general hell of war. This effectively describes war as their dehumanisation and depression gives them a sense of desperation. Personally, the use of personification and pathetic fallacy to describe the weather makes me pity the soldiers and their situation. Evaluating this technique, I would say it is extremely effective and communicates the poet’s intentions clearly. His thoughts and feelings come across strongly through the use of literal personification and allows the reader to compare the soldier’s emotions to the weather.

Both poems mention a loss of faith in God. This successfully portrays the extremity of the situation and is enough to lose belief in God’s love. Exposure: “For God’s love seems dying” This directly suggests the loss in God’s love. The word “seems” shows their uncertainty and perhaps illustrates the questioning of God’s existence. The order of words slow down the pace of the poem when read, adding more emphasis on the particular phrase. This allows the reader to full experience the impact of the situation. Also the word “dying” relates to the war and could symbolise battlefield

Personally I feel sorrow for soldiers as Owen has used appropriate and strong techniques to reveal the soldiers morale and emotions. This links back to Spring Offensive as both uses gruesome injuries to describe the abyss of war. Other examples of this are in Spring Offensive: “Some say God caught them even before they fell” The word “some” shows the preponderance of soldiers have already lost faith and suggests the soldier’s morale is very low. This lets the reader compare the loss of faith to the soldier’s raw emotions with clarity. I can say the poet does well to transfer his loss of faith to the soldier’s emotions and uses the techniques mentioned to do so. The use of dehumanisation is apparent throughout both poems and is used to its full effect to animalise the soldiers. This line associates back to Spring Offensive as the contradiction of emotions confirms their loss of faith and their continuous questioning of his alleged invincibility. It suggests the movements of the soldiers are disgusting and graphically violent. but makes them seem animal like and dehumanises their lives.injuries. The poet allows the reader to compare the disgust of an animal to the grotesqueness of the battle field. The reader is able to effectively feel the soldier’s emotions through an assessment of their defeat of belief. Evaluating this. Similar techniques can be found in Exposure: “For God’s invincible spring our love is made afraid” This is a powerful line which personifies the spring weather by using pathetic fallacy. The weather is linked to God and it suggests that he is responsible for their love being made afraid. which links back to the personification of the wind in Exposure. “Even before they hit the ground” creates the image of death. the complete opposite of love. Their incoherent state of mind is defined with precision and fully for fills the poet’s intentions. “With superhuman inhumanities” This phrase comes across very powerfully as the word “superhuman” implies the extreme actions necessary on the battlefield. This is displayed in the word “inhumanities” and indicates the brutality of war and how it is not fit for a civil human. For example: Exposure: “We cringe in holes” “Cringe” shows their disgust of the living conditions and fully implies their state is recoiling and animalistic. This shows the inferno of war with pronounced definition and the use of dehumanisation and animalising allows the reader to compare the soldier’s situation to animals and . This consents the reader to full understand the fringe of the condition by relating it to something even a being of omnipotent power cannot stop. Other sources of evidence can be found in Spring Offensive. The word “holes” symbolises the trenches. This use of contradiction shows the emptiness and strength of the soldiers emotions as even something like love is “made afraid”.

The loss of faith is shown clearly and lets the reader understand the atrocity of the circumstances. . This links back to Exposure as both poems use dehumanisation to expose the extremity of the war and permit the reader to compare them to animals. The personification of the weather signifies the abuse brought forward by the enemy and perhaps symbolises the war injuries worn by the soldiers.their unclean habitats. loss in faith and personification fully illustrates the uniquely appalling situation the soldiers are in with unconstrained clarity. All these techniques are of the poet’s intentions. I believe is the poet’s intentions were to let the reader compare the soldier’s to animals. Pathetic fallacy is used in both poems to reflect the soldier’s morale and their attitude towards the violence. which he interjects with practiced skill. I personally pity and understand the soldier’s morale as Owen has successfully used the above techniques to put forward his own terrible experiences of the war. which Owen did with unopposed meaning. and the emotions of those around him. In conclusion. dehumanisation. I feel very pitiful towards the soldier’s and can entirely experience their raw emotions due to the poet’s use of unhindered dehumanization. In my opinion. Owen’s use of pathetic fallacy.