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The Dead-Beat Analysis

Author: poem of Wilfred Owen Type: poem Views: 9

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He dropped, -- more sullenly than wearily,

Lay stupid like a cod, heavy like meat,

And none of us could kick him to his feet;

Just blinked at my revolver, blearily;

-- Didn't appear to know a war was on,

Or see the blasted trench at which he stared.

"I'll do 'em in," he whined, "If this hand's spared,

I'll murder them, I will."

                            A low voice said,

"It's Blighty, p'raps, he sees; his pluck's all gone,

Dreaming of all the valiant, that AREN'T dead:

Bold uncles, smiling ministerially;

Maybe his brave young wife, getting her fun

In some new home, improved materially.

It's not these stiffs have crazed him; nor the Hun."

We sent him down at last, out of the way.

Unwounded; -- stout lad, too, before that strafe.

Malingering?  Stretcher-bearers winked, "Not half!"

Next day I heard the Doc.'s well-whiskied laugh:

"That scum you sent last night soon died.  Hooray!"


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

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( sorry if im wrong )
"he dropped dead, ' more sullenly than wearily".
- dropped can be said like it is sudden and it makes you snap back into reality
"lay stupid like a cod, heavy like meat"
- owen makes the soldier looks as though he is an animal making the soldier hopeless to his men and himself( there are alot of animalistic behaviours in his poems )
- technique used: similie
"and none of us could kick him to his feet"
- creating sympathy for the soldier
- but none of the people around him could pick him back up because they are still at war or maybe because the soldiers are tired
- it may also mean that the soldiers aren't even bothered because they rather care for themselves at that moment and they already know that he's probably going to die
" - just blinked at my revolver, blearily "
- there is a sense of guilt
- or pointing the gun at the soldier
- maybe it might be an enemy soldier instead?
"or see the blasted trench at which he started"
- onomatopoeia
- owen makes 'blasted trench' ambiguous and it suggests the state of the trenches or the place of horror
"i'll do 'em in,' he whined. 'if this hand's spared, i'll murder them, i will."
- 'whined' child like
- anger
First stanza:
"dropped" "lay" "blink" "kick" "stared" "whined"
- shows the conditions of war
- theme: masculinity
- verbs owen uses to show the man's breakdown are plain and simple
"kick" & "whined"
- onomatopoeia
- real tension through the use of contrast
- the length and harshness of which convey the mans feelings and the attitude of his comrades

| Posted on 2015-03-06 | by a guest

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lol Wilfred owen wasn't your grandpa nerd. *O shoooty bum pain*

| Posted on 2015-02-02 | by a guest

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I believe that this man has just had enough from war and that he just faked it to get out of the torment of war
By Krash.j Hope it helps
it probably will

| Posted on 2015-01-31 | by a guest

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The diction used shows expression of happiness; "smiling", "winked", "laugh". ironic that the whole situation is no laughing matter, it is far from funny. Shows how little respect the soldiers get, especially when they get closer to death.

| Posted on 2014-05-26 | by a guest

.: :.

I believe the poem is relating to death. As the stanzas get shorter, the man's heartbeat is getting slower, slowly coming to a stop at the end of the poem.

| Posted on 2014-03-22 | by a guest

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wrinkles are the main part, wilfred owen was my grandpa my dad told me all about these peoms. it is all about wrinkles and how they age you mentally.

| Posted on 2011-09-15 | by a guest

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The previous comment speaking of how it is a captured enemy. it would not make sense to say \"its Blighty\" which is is a term for britain. my opinion infact it is a Soldier suffering from shellshock and being mistreated, ultimately leading to his death, by a uncaring drunk doctor, along with a misunderstanding of ShellShock at this point in time and is being mistaken for cowardice. hope this helps!

| Posted on 2011-09-10 | by a guest

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I think the soldier is actually an allied soldier (in the same platoon of Owen who is suffering from shellshock)

| Posted on 2011-06-21 | by a guest

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I feel that this poem lacks in pictures and explosions from Ali Hawthorn of KSA, Kettering, Northants.

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

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This poem as all of Owens poems refers back to world war I in which he fought in. Owen is encountering a specific time in which him and his men captured a soldier from another army.
The title used has a special effect as it is seen to be ironic as a beat cannot be "dead." The effect of this is that it captures the readers attention making us want to read more and find out what the poet means by "The dead-beat." The atmosphere created is tense which is shown through the fact that there is "a war" the prisoner says that he will "murder them" possibly meaning that he will become a traitor to his country. There is a sense of urgency when the prisoner says this and the fact that Owen quotes this hightens this.
From the first stanza of the poem we gather that this prisoner is treated like an animal which is shown thhrough the fact that he is said to be heavy like a meat" dehumanizing him. Owen also describes him as "[laying] stupid like a cod" which to the readers is seen to be quite brutal considering the fact that he is helpless and the use of alliteration of the "y" sound from the words "sulleny" and "wearily" in the first line emphasize this.
on the second paragraph we see Owen quoting the direct reaction of the soldier which really highlights the depth of the situation. As readers we can gain a clearer understanding of the fealings of the soldier who appears who seems to be exposed to the reality of the situation. This is highlighted throught the word "bold."(not too sure if that part is correct)
There is also a contrast with the the state of the soldier and his "brave young wife, getting her fun In some new home, improved materially." The description of the life that this woman is living really shhows the contrast between both worlds and this is what Owen could be trying to highlight to the readers.
There is a disguist on the part of the readers in the last line of the poem. It is shocking and this is the effect that Owen wants on the readers which is why he ends the poem in such a sour note. The use of the exclaimation mark emphasizes this.
I have not talked about the third paragrph including a great deal of other things.

| Posted on 2010-01-02 | by a guest

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