Futility By Wilfred Owen
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FutilityBy Wilfred OwenImages of WarLook at these images and write down the feelings they evokeWhat they say about World War 1
Poppies a multisensory explosion
Susan OwenWilfred OwenI was thinking of Susan Owen [mother of World war One soldier ad poet, Wilfred] and families of soldiers killed in any war when I wrote this poem. This poem attempts on one level to address female experience and is consciously a political act. Who is Wilfred Owen?
In a letter to his mother, Susan, Owen wrote: I came out again in order to help these boys; directly, by leading them as well as an officer can; indirectly, by watching their suffering that I may speak of them as well as a pleader can.Owen was killed on 4 November 1918 trying to get his men across the Sambre Canal. The news reached his parents seven days later, on Armistice Day.
He was born in 1893 and died in 1918.He is now thought of as the poet who exposed the brutalities of trench warfare and the senseless waste of life caused by World War One.Owen spent only four months fighting and only five weeks in the front line, but the shock of the horrors of war was so great that he decided it was his task to expose the Pity of War, to represent in poetry the experiences of the men in his care..
Despite his views on the senseless waste of war, Wilfred Owen was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of his courage and leadership during the breaking of the Hindenburg Line in October 1918.
Futility by Wilfred Owen
Definition of Futility(noun)1. The quality of having no usefulresult; uselessness.2. Lack of importance or purpose;frivolousness.3. A futile act or event.
What does its use suggest about the poet's attitude to war?Move him into the sun Gently its touch awoke him once,At home, whispering of fields half-sown.Always it woke him, even in France,Until this morning and this snow.If anything might rouse him nowThe kind old sun will know.
Suggests he cant move himself makes us wonder whyWho is he?What does he represent?Technique?Purpose?What profession was he before the war?Resigned tone line titleThink how it wakes the seeds Woke once the clays of a cold star.Are limbs, so dear achieved, are sidesFull-nerved, still warm, too hard to stir?Was it for this the clay grew tall? O what made fatuous sunbeams toilTo break earths sleep at all?
Both stanzas start with a command making the readerThe sun is powerful, it brought life to earth but it cant help nowQuestions the reasons forgiving life in war suggests its pointlessWhy does the poet end the poem with a question markIdea repeated but nothing will wake the soldierAnger hints at the pointlessness of warWhat is the point of life being created if it can destroyed so easily?Exploring the TextPresentation of nature* Find all the references to nature.* How is nature presented? Why?Use of sounds* Track the sounds of words in this poem?* What do you notice? How is Owen using thesounds of words?Direct address* What examples of direct address are there?* What do they help to achieve within the poem?