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Dulce et Decorum Est Essays

Project id 1001387
Subject area Biology
Document type Essay
Words 2852
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Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est" and E. E Cummings', "next to of course god america I" are poems that review patriotic propaganda. Both poems use words and images to effectively portray the effect that patriotic propaganda has on war. "Dulce et Decorum Est" uses descriptive words to make realistic images of the horrors soldiers are confronted with during battle, whereas "next to of course god america I" uses sarcasm to notify readers that the misuse of propaganda can be used to manipulate others. The attitudes that they communicate are quite similar; both imply that propaganda is a lie; it isn't sweet and fitting to die for one's country. It's ingrained in soldier's heads this to die for ones country is a great and honourable sacrifice. Nonetheless, in the poem Dulce et Decorum Est the speaker utilizes powerful words and graphics to portray that patriotic propaganda is now an "old lie" (Owen 27). In the first stanza, the speaker describes the effects that war has on young soldiers: "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks/ Knock- Kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge" (Owen 1-2). Propaganda portrays soldiers as being young heroes, people who are strong, vigorous and healthy. But, based on the evidence expressed in the previous quotation soldiers are not all what propaganda defines them to be. The speaker chooses words such as "bent double, like old baggers" and "knock-kneed" (Owens 1-2) to expose the discomfort and effects that war has on young soldiers. The soldiers are subtly in comparison to crippled elderly men which emphasizes just how badly warfare has influenced their own bodies, stripping them of their health, making them weak and helpless like "old beggars" (Owen 1). Furthermore, the speaker communicates his expertise as a marketed...

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