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The Chances Analysis

Author: poem of Wilfred Owen Type: poem Views: 17

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I mind as 'ow the night afore that show

Us five got talking, -- we was in the know,

"Over the top to-morrer; boys, we're for it,

First wave we are, first ruddy wave; that's tore it."

"Ah well," says Jimmy, -- an' 'e's seen some scrappin' --

"There ain't more nor five things as can 'appen;

Ye get knocked out; else wounded -- bad or cushy;

Scuppered; or nowt except yer feeling mushy."

One of us got the knock-out, blown to chops.

T'other was hurt, like, losin' both 'is props.

An' one, to use the word of 'ypocrites,

'Ad the misfortoon to be took by Fritz.

Now me, I wasn't scratched, praise God Almighty

(Though next time please I'll thank 'im for a blighty),

But poor young Jim, 'e's livin' an' 'e's not;

'E reckoned 'e'd five chances, an' 'e's 'ad;

'E's wounded, killed, and pris'ner, all the lot --

The ruddy lot all rolled in one.  Jim's mad.


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

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This is one of the saddest comment sections on the entire internet. XD

| Posted on 2017-01-26 | by a guest

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My friend thinks this is a fantastic poem that has changed her life, due to the depth and beautification portrayed within the poem. My friend would have loved to have met Wilfred Owen and tell him just how great he really is. P.S I haven't meant any of this because poetry is boring and for old people.

| Posted on 2013-08-21 | by a guest

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In Stanza 1 a soldier, or ex-soldier, is reminiscing - from what vantage point we don\'t know. The fighting front? Behind the lines? Hospital? Back home? Wherever it is he and his four mates were talking about \"going over the top\" next day. One of them, Jim, reckoned they each had five chances, from being killed outright to being wounded to some degree or other, to more or less getting away with it.
In Stanza 2 the narrator relates how, in the event, they all fared.
Written throughout in demotic language, Owen makes much use of Army slang: show = battle, cushy = slightly, scuppered = killed, mushy = not in the best condition, chops = little bits, Fritz = Germans, blighty = a wound serious enough for the recipient to be sent home.

| Posted on 2013-01-12 | by a guest

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This poem is a good poem as it starts of on the first verse with the word \'show\' which conveys the idea that the war is like a game/adventure to the soldiers and the things that jim tells his fellow soldiers what they should expect evokes the fact that he is an experienced soldier and he has been in battles before. The sad part of the poem is that jim suffers from shell shock and that he has to cope with his mental illness for the rest of his life

| Posted on 2012-02-04 | by a guest

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LATERZ HOMIES!!! I iz a chav innit blad man dat iz sik blad. I iz not guna lisen 2 ya cuz ya\'r a LUZER. I iz 2 kool 4 skool scum bag

| Posted on 2011-10-04 | by a guest

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it is a depressing poem about men who go to war then get mad because of shell shock which is described in great depth in the poem. i cant be bovered to expain it all coz i actually have a life!!!

| Posted on 2011-10-04 | by a guest

.: 'The Chances Wilfred Owen :.

Owen writes a monologue in the vernacular of the British Tommy. He is imitating the speech using colloquialisms and the stuttered utterances of an everyday conversation. It sometimes sounds a little forced towards the end of the first stanza 'except you're feeling mushy' but this does not stop the poem from delivering a powerful message of the consequences of battle. The phrase 'he's livin' and he's dead' echoes the feelings we all have about losing our minds. Shell shock was not understood or accepted as a clinical illness and men were punished and executed for 'feigning' illness when really - like Jim - they were 'mad.' The five 'things that can happen' - knocked out, wounded badly or lightly, killed or just feeling 'mushy' are superceded by the horrors of the second stanza. 'Blown to chops' like meat on a butcher's slab, being disabled by losing 'both props,' taken as a prisoner of war or escaping the carnage and wishing for a 'blighty' a wound that is not fatal but serious enough to get you sent home do not compare with the awful fate of Jim who will be all of these 'rolled in one' - 'Jim's mad.' There is no spirituality or sentiment in the poem. It is a matter of fact account of trench warfare. It disturbs us because of the 'jolly' way such macabre subjects are discussed. We are unnerved by this acceptance of the soldiers' fates and recognise the awful fates that faced these men. There are strong links with Owens’s more somberly expressed poem 'Disabled' where the language and style is as dark as the subject matter.
Bez Berry

| Posted on 2008-05-01 | by a guest

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