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Wilfred Owen: The Great War

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The Great War was the worst of times but it would become the focus and inspiration for some of the greatest works of art. Wilfred Owens would use his experience on the battlefield to capture the purest, most untainted image of war in his literary work. His ability to let the moment speak for itself, letting the vivid imagery represent the war and not adding anything to change what happened, would be the catalyst for what makes Owens the greatest war poet.

However, greatness always has a beginning, born on March 18, 1893 in Oswestry, England, Wilfred Owen would go on to be educated at Birkenhead institute and would enroll in the University of London. According to the encyclopedia of Britannica, “after an illness in 1913 he lived in France. He had already begun to write and, while working as a tutor near Bordeaux, was preparing a book of “Minor Poems—in Minor Keys—by a Minor”. In 1915 he would enlist in the British army to serve for his country of origin. The warfare of The Great War would swiftly affect the young soldier. Seeing the various methods of countries’ inhumane slaughter of others led to Owens choice to document the war and its effects. These experiences are forever etched in history because of his literary work that survived the Great War. Sadly his work is the only piece of him that survived as he would be killed
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Paul Norgate highlighted this aspect of his writing in his journal “Soldiers' Dreams: Popular Rhetoric and the War Poetry of Wilfred Owen.” He writes, “In Owen, the confident, conventional optimism of popular texts about war is repeatedly questioned and undermined, by means of an appropriation and inversion of its own tropes and strategies.” This sentence made me hyperattentive to this rhetoric in his work and I came to the realization that his poems are riddled with

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