Essay about The Send-Off, by Wilfred Owen
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The Send-Off, by Wilfred Owen, is an ironic and dark humored description of how the soldiers
The Send-Off, by Wilfred Owen, is an ironic and dark humored description of how the soldiers we’re sent off to the battlefront, during World War I (keyword “The Send-Off”). In this poem, Owen conveys to us that the soldiers are being sent to their doom.
From the very start we sense the soldiers’ lost fate. The soldiers go to the train, they are singing joyfully, as if they are being sent to a country picnic, but of course the narration is omniscient, we know what lies ahead of them, and so simultaneously the lanes are darkening around them. Secondly, the soldiers are surrounded by wreath and spray, a wreath and a…show more content…
Those same flowers are brought up again, in this case, as if the soldiers mock what the women meant by the offering of these flowers, the wreath and spray, almost as if the women know that the soldiers, their husbands and relatives: the men will die.
The irony present in this poem is best seen in the tone of the poem.
When the question arises, whether the soldiers will come back to a great parade of joy on their homecoming and it great numbers, in “wild train-loads,” Owen rhetorically answers first “a few,” then again “a few” and finally “too few for drums and yells.” The loss of life during the war will be to tragic for anybody to celebrate, and too few soldiers will return for anybody to celebrate. And when the few soldiers come back, there will be no joy to return to, and so they
“creep back, silent, to village wells, up half-known roads.” They creep almost as if they are avoiding or cower from the tragedy itself, a shameful situation. The shame is seen also in the taboo of the situation, “so secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went. They were not ours: We never heard to which front these were sent,” everybody knew their doomed fate except the soldiers themselves, thrown to the wolves blindfolded. The irony is also seen in the contradiction of terms, the “grimly gay” faces and the “casual tramp,” we sense a premonition that something is wrong, almost like dark omens, normally one stares down a tramp,
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