Representation Of Wilfred Owen’s Own War Experiences In His Poem Dulce Et Decorum Est

“Dulce Et Decorum Est,” is a descriptive war poem written by Wilfred Owen. I imagine it was hard for Mr. Owen to write about his own experiences in war, especially if he had PTSD. Many men and women can not talk about what happened to them in battle because it hurts them to think about it. Writing about his time in the field might have helped Wilfred to cope with what happened to him. A lot of people do not know or understand all the hardships that soldiers went through in war. Wilfred Owen experienced these struggles with other men on the frontline, and he is trying to help people see what they went through. Understanding what soldiers go through in battle can be a hard thing for those who have not experienced it. It seems to me that Wilfred is in some way trying to help readers understand what he and his fellow soldiers went through in battle. He says that they walk away from the “haunting flares” (bright balls of light in the sky to show where they were) heading towards a safe zone so that they could rest. Many of the men had lost their boots and were walking drunk with fatigue he says. This doesn’t even begin to shed the light on all the troubles that they went through. He explains that they were so tired that they did not hear gas shells dropping around them. By the time they realized, it was too late and one man, not able to get his mask on in time, was killed. Fearing for their lives, they could not let the man die in peace. They watched him die in the back of a wagon. No man should have to endure the sight of that or even experience that kind of death. If only the world could be at peace and not have wars, there would be no need for men to die like this.

The end of Wilfred Owen’s poem states “The Old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori;” this means that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. I believe that Wilfred means this in two ways. One is that it is an honor to defend your country and lay down your life for it. The other is that it is not “sweet and fitting” to die in young age for your country. Men would love to live out there days doing what they want and die as old men. The man that died in battle in front of him did not have that chance. He calls it an old lie because it seems that he believes it to not be true. Just because it is an honor to die for your country does not mean that a man wants to do it. When the draft was going on in the U.S. the men that were chosen did not have a choice whether to fight or not. They had to put their lives on the line whether they wanted to or not. Those men probably did not think it was a good idea to die for their country. I know I would not have wanted to be forced to go fight or even die for something that had nothing to do with me. Understanding the hardships that soldiers go through on the front lines can be a hard thing to accomplish, but Wilfred Owen helps people understand this in this poem.

Overall Wilfred Owen described his experience in war in a great way. It is sad that he had to watch a man die in front of him and he could not do anything about it. This shows us again the hardships during battle. Even after the war, Wilfred Owen still faced a battle. His battle was writing this poem for us. I imagine it was hard for him to write such a beautiful and well thought out poem. Wilfred and his fellow soldiers were having to fight in terrible conditions. Some were without boots, bleeding from their feet. The ending line of the poem says that it is an honor and that it is good to die for your country. These men that were walking basically asleep, probably did not think that it was good to die for their country. Understanding the hardships that soldiers go through on the front lines can be a hard thing to accomplish, but Wilfred Owen helps people understand this in this poem.

01 February 2021
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