Exposure – Wilfred Owen

How is the idea of “Exposure” (being dangerously exposed to the natural elements/weather)Represented in the poem? We first see the danger of exposure in this poem through the title as exposure means to be exposed to extreme winds and temperature. Through the first sentence we feel the harshness of the winds that Wilfred Owen experienced when he said “In the merciless iced east winds that knifed us. The images that we can see through this quote is that Wilfred was trenching through terrains with savage winds making the men struggle to stride, from the east as the wind knifed, this is meaning that the wind was sharp & strong.

A second example of “Exposure” in this poem written By Wilfred Owen is in the third paragraph where he says “Clouds sag stormy” This quote is implying that the clouds were sagging low as a storm. I think from reading this that Wilfred believed he was near to the eye of the storm. Another example of Exposure in the same paragraph is when he says “shivering ranks of grey” from reading this I believe that Wilfred is implying that ranks of grey are the ranks of solders striving through these wintry conditions freezing.

Another example of exposure in this text is in fourth paragraph, line 3 where Wilfred Owen says “Sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause and renew” In my eyes from reading this quote I think this is showing that the strong fast snowflakes are skimming through the wind sideways “knifing the men” with the snow storm pausing at certain moments and renewing with even worst blizzards.

“Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling our faces” This quote by Wilfred Owen in the fifth paragraph I think this shows the meaning the pale flakes representing the snow. In my eyes I think that fingering stealth resembles when a sow flake lands on a finger it quickly fades away away.

 

Language Techniques (feat Jayden)

Simile: For the example given “Watching, we hear mad gusts tugging on the wire, Like twitching agonies of men among it’s brambles.” We see use of a simile. I feel that this is used to show how violent the wind is. As if it was men trying to escape it to save their lives. Struggling to escape it’s painful grasp. Yet it is just wind. Trying it’s hardest to sweep through and get to the men who have hunkered down for the night. The simile is used to show the vicious force of the wind. The poet can compare this because it was something he had to experience every single day. He had to see and hear his fellow soldiers be trapped in the barbed wire.

 

Personification: In this example we see personification. A language technique being used in the text “Exposure” when Wilfred Owen says “Merciless iced east winds that knife us” This quote is giving the cold sharp snowstorm human like abilities, knifing something or someone, cutting and wounding them. This is placed in this text as the situation that Wilfred was in with the cold and the storm makes the wind drag the snow ride to remarkable speed and strength allowing to reach human abilities making the snow painful when it strikes.

 

Emotive Language: In the example “Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army.” We see not only Wilfred Owen misses home and is in a depressive state but that his fellow soldiers are also home sick and wish to go back home to their loved ones. This use of Emotive Language lets us feel their pain and misery That they have endured during the war. It lets us know how they wish for the war to end and how they are saddened by the idea of never returning to their peaceful home.

One Reply to “Exposure – Wilfred Owen”

  1. Well done, Daniel. Many of your ideas show a clear connection between the chosen language techniques and the effect that these have on the reader’s understanding (about the soldiers experiences of war and their environment). You could develop these connections further. E.g. This is a good connection: “his use of Emotive Language lets us feel their pain and misery That they have endured during the war. It lets us know how they wish for the war to end and how they are saddened by the idea of never returning to their peaceful home.” Continue to describe the atmosphere that is created from the lines. Discuss the messages about war that are revealed. Consider the way the reader is impacted by the lines.

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