How Does Owen Present the Landscape of War in ‘the Show’? Essay Sample

How Does Owen Present the Landscape of War in ‘the Show’? Pages Download
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Owen presents both the physical landscape of war and the emotional and social landscape of war through a variety of poetic devices such as language and imagery. This poem is from the perspective of a soldier who has already been killed, providing an objective and detached, arial point of view. And the title of the poem, ‘The Show’ is polysemous because on one hand, it can be interpreted as the soldier watching the battle as though watching a show as a warped form of entertainment along with ‘Death’ which has been personified into an actual being, whilst, on the other hand the title may not be reference to a form of entertainment but rather to the word used by the soldiers to refer to the battle. This seems like a way for the soldiers to evade reality and make light of the situation they are in. ‘The Show’ has no structure and is formless this gives us an overpowering sense of chaos.

The poem is divides into sentences rather than verse which provides a very irregular form and reflects the irregularity of a soldier’s life. Owen uses half-rhyme and this futher reinforces the idea of irregularity and inconsistency. In the first stanza, Owen describes the physical landscape with the simile, ‘cratered like the moon’ and this gives us an idea of the mutilation of the surface of the Earth caused by the bombs and land mines explading. The imagery of the moon is a common comparison which is often made so we are all familiar withit and this enables us to picture the extent of the damaged landscape ravaged by the war. As well as this Owen says that the landscape is ‘fitted with great pocks and scabs of plaques’. This phrase includes plasives which aid in accentuating the image of damage, illness and decay.

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