What images are presented in the text?
“Bent double,” This image gets the reader to see someone tired, kind of slouching from. About at that point of falling over yet still standing up. We can think this is from an earlier battle, leaving them exhausted and hurt. Or it could be about how they have been walking for quite a while, leaving them barely able to walk anymore. What it tells us is that they aren’t giving up yet, they don’t want to die, but feeling this way is difficult as they have been so close to death. The atmosphere generated from this is one of tiredness, and the want to just give up, and yet also one of determination, in the way that they haven’t given up.
“”As under a green sea,” this image gets the reader to see a large mass of green, surrounding everything. What the reader understands is that death is now surrounding them, there is no escape. The reader understands that the soldiers could end up dying, and knows the soldiers realize this too. This creates an idea that even after going through battles, getting injured, and still walking afterwards, death still comes after them. And after this, if anyone survives, their will to live will either be destroyed, or strengthened.
“If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from froth corrupted lungs”
This image creates an idea of a person lying down in a carriage, while it trundle along. And as it moves, that person has blood start pooling up, with their chest and body writhing. What the reader understands from this is that death by that green gas is terrible. It leaves you in a state of certain death, with pain coursing through if you move even slightly. It also leaves you knowing that even after all this stuff has happened, they still won’t live behind their friend. Even if death is assured. This creates the sort of atmosphere that living is torture, and yet they still will live. Not that they particularly want to, they just don’t want to waste the lives of their comrades.
What specific vocabulary has been chosen to add meaning to the text?
“An ecstasy of fumbling” This word “ecstasy” makes the reader think that these soldiers are happy to finally be able to do something that can let them live for a while longer. It could also mean that when they are putting on the helmets, they aren’t really focusing on it, like their minds are in a different state and nearly completely unaware of what is happening. The atmosphere generated from this is one of being either happy to be able to do something, or a general feeling of “it doesn’t even matter anymore.” The reason this is included is so that the reader gains even more insight to how tired the soldiers are, and how difficult the fight had so far been.
“If in some smothering dreams” from the word smothering, the reader knows that what he is going to talk about isn’t a pleasant dream. Instead it would be more like a nightmare, one that completely wraps over a persons mind, and makes them fill the full force of the nightmare. Basically, they will be terrified. This tells the reader that what happens next is both serious and terrifying. By doing this, the reader also knows that this part can be described as dreamlike, while also having a good deal of reality.
“All want lame; all blind” What the reader gathers from this is that everyone is hurt, and everyone is tired. nobody can properly continue. This includes the author. Why this was included would be so as to get the reader to understand just how much hardship they have been through to leave them all injured so much. Everyone is losing the ability to live, and yet they continue. The atmosphere generated from this is one of death and not quite giving up.
- Allusion:”Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori”. By including this in the poem, the very reason for the poem comes to light. That is, it isn’t sweet and fitting to die for ones country. By including this here, it sounds far better than just saying “It is wrong to think that dying for ones country is good.” The reason for this being the way in which people’s minds work. That is, people believe words that sound scientific, which is pretty much Latin, to be more real. Basically, saying it in Latin will convince people that what he says is the truth, while using English the entire time won’t create any special impact at all. It also reaches back into his past where he would of taught Latin. The impact on the readers understanding however is that now they won’t understand the true meaning of the poem unless they know where it comes from.
- Repetition:”All went lame; all blind” By using this in the poem, it will drag the reader more into the poem, while also setting up the scenery and attitude of the soldiers. With this one sentence, the reader understands that the soldiers ability to move and process what is happening around them is practically gone. Without this, the reader wouldn’t of understood just how bad the situation the soldiers were in when the gas bombs dropped, and might of gotten confused at the point of saying “An ecstasy of fumbling,” as it could’ve also had a happy feeling to it.
- Emotive language:”His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;” By using this in the poem, the author can help describe just how nasty the gas is. It affects the readers in the way of telling them that this soldier, fighting for you and your country, is looking about as good as a pile of sin filled sick. So it will create large amounts of the feeling horror in the reader. Without it there is still plenty more emotive language to describe the situation, but each sentence builds up on another to describe an image of how bad the soldier is looking.