Dulce Et Decorum Est Tone

Improved Essays
The poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen details the atrocities of WWI by describing the horrific physiological tortures of mustard gas exposure. The title translates to “it is sweet and honorable,” ironically illustrating the atrocities of war, images of mutilation and suffering, as glorious and honorable. Owen depicts a loveless reality devoid of compassion and empathy as most war imagery suggests. However, even war and the emotions of hatred and fury originate from the capacity to love. From the soldier’s perspective in “Dulce et Decorum Est,” the battlefield is not entirely deprived of compassion. Owen employs a tone of disgust and horrified empathy by describing death through the perspective of a young and lucky survivor. This tone …show more content…
Another interpretation of Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” reveals the terror of war and the response of fear and anxiety towards wartime atrocities. The soldier experiences the mustard gas first hand, and from his experience, he questions “dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” or “ it is sweet and proper to die for one’s country.” Love justifies the actions of hatred and fury, but love questions the actions of hatred and fury as well. War corrupts innocence and youth. The soldier experiences a terror that prompts him to ask “why fight? Why sacrifice? Why die?” Love provides a sense of momentary rationality in mindless conflict instigated by the love itself. A dual dynamic appears with the emotion of love. It acts as both a unifying force and a divisive force, a catalyst and an inhibitor, a reason for and a reason …show more content…
T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” describes a reality empty and barren of all emotion. The poem creates an atmosphere of emptiness and despair. The “hollowness” of “The Hollow Men” derive from their incapability to feel, understand, and express emotion. They remain in an eternal and meaningless death. Usually, death represents the hope and delivery of rebirth and eternal life. Rarely is death portrayed as a permanent silencer, rather a medium or portal to a higher state of existence. For example Eliot’s “IV. Death by Water” in The Waste Land illustrates the Phoenician sailor’s demise by entering the whirlpool: the whirlpool symbolizes rebirth, for the spiral symbol represents life, death, and resurrection. In “The Hollow Men,” true death is the death of emotion, the death of the human experience. Only when a soul rejects its emotion does it lose its humanity. But even in “The Hollow Men” the message of love penetrates. An atmosphere of emptiness and despair, even these emotions derive from love. Emptiness and despair are the longingness for love and belonging. They are not merely the absence of such feeling, rather they exist as the emotion of “love” for “love.” “The Hollow Men,” in their dread and emptiness, release a plea for spiritual absoluteness. They long for completion. Emotion acts their only remedy for their internalized

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