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Wilfred Owen uses imagery throughout his prose to dramatize the effect of pathos to the reader and to reinforce his negative view on war.The fatigue ridden soldiers in Stanza 1 are depicted as stolid characters as the "All went lame; all blind drunk with fatigue".
The soldiers ignore the "drowning" man – that could not place his helmet on in time – because of the inhumanity the war has afflicted them with.
The "guttering, choking, drowning" of the moribund soldier cloud his dreams and the usage of assonance shows the guilt in his mind and exasperation of the death that has plagued the soldiers.
All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,— My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
—An ecstasy of fumbling Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.— Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
Owen also describes what the young lad's face looks like "Devils sick of sin", this painfully illustrates how the life is ebbing away from him and that the skin is just hanging on his face.
In the fifth and final stanza Owen makes a heroic and very public stand, by challenging the newspaper columnists, back home in England, that if they had seen the horrors that he had witnessed, then maybe, they would not be so quick impose their na�ve views of how good it is to die for "Ones country".
Literary devices are used to bring richness and clarity to the texts.
The writers and poets use them to make their texts appealing and meaningful.
In the second stanza the tone changes to one of questioning hopelessness and of quiet resignation with the onset of death.
Owen demonstrates this by asking the reader to think, "Think how it wakes the seeds- Woke, once, the clays of a cold star".