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Exposure Analysis

Author: Poetry of Wilfred Owen Type: Poetry Views: 3546

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1 Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knife us ...

2 Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent ...

3 Low drooping flares confuse our memory of the salient ...

4 Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous,

5But nothing happens.

6 Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire.

7 Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles.

8 Northward incessantly, the flickering gunnery rumbles,

9 Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war.

10What are we doing here?

11 The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow ...

12 We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy.

13 Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army

14 Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of gray,

15But nothing happens.

16 Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence.

17 Less deadly than the air that shudders black with snow,

18 With sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause and renew,

19 We watch them wandering up and down the wind's nonchalance,

20But nothing happens.


21 Pale flakes with lingering stealth come feeling for our faces--

22 We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and stare, snow-dazed,

23 Deep into grassier ditches. So we drowse, sun-dozed,

24 Littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird fusses.

25Is it that we are dying?

26 Slowly our ghosts drag home: glimpsing the sunk fires glozed

27 With crusted dark-red jewels; crickets jingle there;

28 For hours the innocent mice rejoice: the house is theirs;

29 Shutters and doors all closed: on us the doors are closed--

30We turn back to our dying.

31 Since we believe not otherwise can kind fires burn;

32 Now ever suns smile true on child, or field, or fruit.

33 For God's invincible spring our love is made afraid;

34 Therefore, not loath, we lie out here; therefore were born,

35For love of God seems dying.

36 To-night, His frost will fasten on this mud and us,

37 Shrivelling many hands and puckering foreheads crisp.

38 The burying-party, picks and shovels in their shaking grasp,

39 Pause over half-known faces. All their eyes are ice,

40But nothing happens.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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is there anything else about sudden succssive flights of bullets streak the silence?

| Posted on 2014-12-06 | by a guest

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Please help I have this essay and am confused on what to write for the last part of it . How does the situations in the poems exposure and dulce et decorum est suggest war is futile

| Posted on 2014-05-03 | by a guest

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War is futile because Owen portrays this through his negative language used throughout exposure.

| Posted on 2014-02-01 | by a guest

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'sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence, Less deathly than the air'. This suggests that nature was more deadly than the enemy and that it was more likely to kill them.

| Posted on 2013-12-04 | by a guest

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all comments helped me a lot thanks
i am in yr 11

| Posted on 2013-09-10 | by a guest

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In the poem “Exposure” by Wilfred Owen, he shows the emotional and psychological toll that the war had on the soldiers. Additionally the main themes of the poem are of silence and the snow which they find more menacing and dangerous than successive streams of bullets. But the poem does not include the physical brutality of war on the soldiers. It exploits the fear and depression that the soldiers endured, this causes the reader to sympathise with the soldiers throughout the poem. It uses personification, juxtaposition and pathetic fallacy to represent the slow “attack” of the snow. However in Dulce et Decorum est also by Wilfred Owen, the poet shows a controversial, starkly realist approach to the idea of the war as futile. It emphasises the graphic, traumatic effect that the immense massacre that is warfare had on the soldiers. It challenges the old saying of “Dulce et Decorum est” which means “It is sweet and right to die for your country”. It also exposes the patriotic naivety that was imminent in the time. Both poems challenge the patriot naivety of the time but in very different ways by depicting the two halves of war. Finally it causes the reader to see the strong, influential patriot message that forced so many men to their untimely graves.
Btw - i am only 13 and this is just for an essay but hope this helps

| Posted on 2013-02-03 | by a guest

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This website helped me a lot!! Thanks Guys, I really appreciate it as this is a part of my controlled assessment!! :)

| Posted on 2013-01-22 | by a guest

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exposure was in a letter to his mother (4/2/1917) Owen describes the extreme cold weather he experiences in the trenches.
exposure=the harmful effects of being exposed to cold weather without enough protection.

| Posted on 2012-11-04 | by a guest

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in the poem Exposure Wilfred Owen uses nature to show the harsh weather conditions and the true reality of war. it is used to show how the weather has a hostile attitude towards the soilders. (use as an intro paragraph) :)

| Posted on 2012-11-02 | by a guest

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\"Sudden succesive flights of bullets streak the silence\"
this alliteration of \'s\' replicates the hissing of the bullets which penetrate the air

| Posted on 2012-10-26 | by a guest

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Owen uses half rhymes such as Knife us- Nervous
This poem could also be an ironic comment to something that W.B.Yeats said which was \'Passive suffering is not a thing for poetry\' yet this is exactly what this is about and if you have studied Owens other poems you will also know he has ironic digs at poets who dont believe in his technique or his context.

| Posted on 2012-10-19 | by a guest

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Thanks for the analysis it help me alot in my english lesson!

| Posted on 2012-10-09 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2012-10-09 | by a guest

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\"black with snow\" is an oxymoron because when you think of snow you think soft, white, gentle. but black is a dark, depressing, lonley, dangerous colour and wilfred wants you to think the snow and the weather dangerous

| Posted on 2012-06-25 | by a guest

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In the poem Exposure Owen uses compelling personification of the weather to show that war is all around them. Weather is something of which no man can control. This poses a question of wheter they could escape war? We don\'t control war, therefore the circumstances and results of these mens destiny\'s is not in our hands.
The use of ellipses i.e. \" Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent...\" causes the reader to reflect on what is being said. Usually silence is a beautiful tranquil state of mind. Yet, here it is something that creates, \"nervous\" and \"curious\" soldiers. This truly creates pathos for the soldiers- do they ever have a chance to relax?
In the second stanza Owen uses a compelling similie \"mad gusts tugging on the wire like twitching agonies of men among its brambles.\" This reiterates that the men are similar to the weather. The weather is contolled by God , and what happens to them is God\'s fate -\" For love of God seemss dying.\"
If possible I would like to have my post:
\"Exposure” is a war poem, written from a soldier’s point of view. Owen used poetry as a means of communicating the realities of trench warfare to the masses, contrasting the propaganda of the time. The title itself indicates that Owen will be ‘exposing’ the truth to us and that there is no form of physical protection for the soldiers, they are ‘exposed’. It also introduces a sense of nakedness and vulnerability. This implied agenda lets the reader know what to expect from the content of the poem.
From the first line, personification is used effectively to introduce us to the harsh weather conditions the soldiers faced “merciless iced east winds”; as such the feeling is created that everyone and everything is against them.\"

| Posted on 2012-05-22 | by a guest

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Just what I have done So far for a year 11
Essay: The question was How does Wilfred owen explore the horrors of war in his poery.
In the poem Exposure Owen uses compelling personification of the weather to show that war is all around them. The merciless east winds that knife us. Its use of bleak imagery creates a picture of war and that the silence is as deadly as the battle. Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent. The horrors of war described in this poem are not physical like the first two poems but rather it conveys the mental exhaustion, hopelessness and desolation the soldiers experienced. Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous. And sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence are both examples of how alliteration was used to make the poem vivid and alive. In the second verse Owen uses compelling similes mad gusts tugging on the wire like twitching agonies of men among its brambles to show that the tugging wire is similar to twitching soldiers.

| Posted on 2012-05-19 | by a guest

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\'Slowly our ghosts drag home\' I believe this is the last essence of the soldier\'s souls that are connected to the homefront returning, only to find \'the doors are closed\', as the connection with home is slowly fading as the war has become their life; they are isolated there and trapped there, with home becoming a distant memory.

| Posted on 2012-05-14 | by a guest

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im 16 and this is part of my coursework, this has helped me massively,

| Posted on 2012-05-08 | by a guest

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the persona might be dying in no mans land \"We turn back to our dying\"

| Posted on 2012-04-18 | by a guest

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Do any of you get bored after a few lines of a book and poem I do and that\'s why i never manage to finish it and spend most my time putting in random comments

| Posted on 2012-04-16 | by a guest

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I find this poem a tad confusing because I didn\'t know the air shuddered black with snow. I also find the dating system beneath these comments quite confusing, I am presuming this is the American dating system.

| Posted on 2012-04-16 | by a guest

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\"on us door are closed\" could sshow the reader that the soldieers feel trapped and abandoned andd the adverb \"incessantly\" suggests that their torture is unending .\"we turn back to our dieing also shows and reminds the reader that the silence of the war and their idleness (which is ironic) is slowly killing them.\"\"shovels in their shaking grasp\"could show the harshness of the weather :they are cold it could also be interpreted to show that the soldiers are terrified and scared at the realisation that tomorrow this might be them dead.

| Posted on 2012-03-26 | by a guest

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wilfred owen died a week before the war ended when he was checking on his fekkow soldiers

| Posted on 2012-02-18 | by a guest

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i am stuying Exposure and i am 12 lol and i find this poem really interesting and i am currently writing an essay on it at this very moment and this has been very helpul towards my essay i am going to admitt that i had trouble starting everything off but now i have got going i think i have one a great job, if this wasnt here the i wouldnt have got this far into my essay i have actually nearly finished it and i would like to say congratulations to wilfred owen for creating such a emoticonal poem! im only 12 and i have been touched to the heart so thank you and thank you to the creator of this website for actually posting and making this all! i wouldnt have done such a great and amazing job without you and wilfred owen to be honest!:)

| Posted on 2011-12-11 | by a guest

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Owen Wilfred was a soldier himself, there for he is writing from experience, this poem is also linked to spring offensive in many ways.

| Posted on 2011-09-11 | by a guest

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Well i am studying this specifoc poem for an analysis essay and well i has identified all this techniques which Wilfred Owen has intelligently used,Such as \"With crusted dark-red jewels\" this is a metaphor that has described the ember of the coal.

| Posted on 2011-06-20 | by a guest

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Owen powerfully conveys that war brought death by nature

| Posted on 2011-05-22 | by a guest

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Please delete all comments made on this website I believe many people are using this website to cheat from the analysis

| Posted on 2011-04-28 | by a guest

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Please delete all comments made on this website I believe many people are using this website to cheat from the analysis

| Posted on 2011-04-28 | by a guest

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what makes this poem different is that instead of the weather being used as a metaphor for war, war is being used as a metaphor for weather

| Posted on 2011-04-19 | by a guest

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Dawn massing east her melonchony army.
Merciless iced east winds that knive us.
We only know war lasts, rain soaks and clouds sag stormy.
What are we doing here?
But nothing happens.

| Posted on 2011-04-11 | by a guest

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it seems as everyone is doing wilfred owens\'\'exposure\'. Thanks a lot guys!

| Posted on 2011-04-04 | by a guest

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‘Exposure’ by Wilfred Owen is based around the extreme situation the soldiers find themselves in and the emotional torment they go through because of this. It is based upon Owen’s own experiences of war. Owen portrays the extreme situation which the soldiers experience with the use of visual and aural images. The men are described as having to withstand regular onslaught form the elements and are being physically, mentally and spiritually shaken to the core.

| Posted on 2011-03-25 | by a guest

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Does anyone know WHERE it was written? not set, written.

| Posted on 2011-02-07 | by a guest

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The Poem \"Exposure\" is a very interesting poem and I think that Owen uses his tequniques to convey the poem.

| Posted on 2010-11-09 | by a guest

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Owen said \' my poetry is about war, and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity\' where is the pity in EXPOSURE??

| Posted on 2010-10-06 | by a guest

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yo yo yo, der ent no pont in lfe if yo ist gona coment bled. $

| Posted on 2010-09-13 | by a guest

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i think the poem shows how the war was in reality the weather could kill you before the fighting that makes the soldiers feel that everything is against them and the poem also tells us not just how bad the weather and war was but how it made them feel

| Posted on 2010-09-08 | by a guest

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i think the poem shows how the war was in reality the weather could kill you before the fighting that makes the soldiers feel that everything is against them and the poem also tells us not just how bad the weather and war was but how it made them feel

| Posted on 2010-09-08 | by a guest

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I think that one of the messages that owen is trying to get throgh is the love for god is dieing as god is leaving them to die in the cold

| Posted on 2010-08-29 | by a guest

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