Exposure

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Exposure

  1. 1. “Exposure”by Wilfred Owen Chelsea Ejankowski Anna Fitzpatrick Gabrielle Heinrich
  2. 2. 1Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds 21Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling forthat knive us...2Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent... our faces3Low, drooping flares confuse our memory of the 22We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, andsalient... stare, snow-dazed,4Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, 23Deep into grassier ditches. So we drowse, sun-nervous, 5But nothing happens. dozed, 24Littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird6Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the fusses,wire, 7Like twitching agonies of men among its 25Is it that we are dying?brambles.8Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunneryrumbles, 26Slowly our ghosts drag home: glimpsing the sunk9Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war. fires, glozed10What are we doing here? 27With crusted dark-red jewels; crickets jingle there; 28For hours the innocent mice rejoice: the house is11The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow... theirs;12We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sagstormy. 29Shutters and doors, all closed: on us the doors are13Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army closed,14Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of 30We turn back to our dying.gray,15But nothing happens. 31Since we believe not otherwise can kind fires burn;16Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the 32Nor ever suns smile true on child, or field, or fruit.silence. 33For Gods invincible spring our love is made afraid;17Less deathly than the air that shudders black with 34Therefore, not loath, we lie out here; therefore weresnow,18With sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause, and born,renew; 35For love of God seems dying.19We watch them wandering up and down the windsnonchalance, 20But nothing happens. 36To-night, this frost will fasten on this mud and us, 37Shrivelling many hands, puckering foreheads crisp. 38The burying-party, picks and shovels in shaking grasp, 39Pause over half-known faces. All their eyes are ice, 40But nothing happens.
  3. 3. TitleBefore reading the poem, we can assume the meaning, with what we know about Wilfred Owen… Wilfred Owen fought in World War 1. Therefore the war had a very heavy impact on his poetry. Throughout the hardships of the war, the soldiers became “exposed” to ongoing violence, as well as severe hardships. We can safely assume, by looking at the title, that this poem will be about the hardships the men were exposed to on a regular basis, during the war.
  4. 4. We can see this by observing the first person narrative used throughout the poem. 1Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us...2Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent...3Low, drooping flares confuse our memory of the salient...4Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous,5But nothing happens.
  5. 5. Occasion- The reader can see that the poem begins in the night, and shows aprogressive movement of time towards day, with the speaker thinking of the nightto come. This gives the poem a “circular formation”. It ends exactly the way itbegan. We can also deduce that the weather the men are experiencing isincredibly cold. The reader can see the misery the men are facing as totallyendless… Even as the days change, their predicament does not. Movement from night to day: Stanza 1 line 2: “Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent...” Stanza 3 line 1: “The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow...” Stanza 8 line 1: “To-night, this frost will fasten on this mud and us,”
  6. 6. Diction: The repetition of “s” sounds mimics the sound of the windmentioned throughout the poem. This use of cacophony allows thereader to better understand the sound of winter heard by the soldiers. 11The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow... 12We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy. 13Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army 14Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of gray, 15But nothing happens. 16Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence. 17Less deathly than the air that shudders black with snow, 18With sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause, and renew; 19We watch them wandering up and down the winds nonchalance, 20But nothing happens. 21Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our faces 22We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and stare, snow-dazed, 23Deep into grassier ditches. So we drowse, sun-dozed, 24Littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird fusses, 25Is it that we are dying?
  7. 7. Imagery : colors sound weather sleep death human traits1Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that 21Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our knive us... faces 2Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent... 22We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and 3Low, drooping flares confuse our memory of the stare, snow-dazed, salient... 23Deep into grassier ditches. So we drowse, sun- 4Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, dozed, nervous, 24Littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird 5But nothing happens. fusses, 25Is it that we are dying? 6Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire, 7Like twitching agonies of men among its 26Slowly our ghosts drag home: glimpsing the sunk brambles. fires, glozed 8Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunnery 27With crusted dark-red jewels; crickets jingle there; rumbles, 28For hours the innocent mice rejoice: the house is 9Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war. theirs; 10What are we doing here? 29Shutters and doors, all closed: on us the doors are closed, 11The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow... 30We turn back to our dying. 12We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy. 31Since we believe not otherwise can kind fires burn; 13Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army 32Nor ever suns smile true on child, or field, or fruit. 14Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of 33For Gods invincible spring our love is made afraid; gray, 34Therefore, not loath, we lie out here; therefore were 15But nothing happens. born, 35For love of God seems dying. 16Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence. 36To-night, this frost will fasten on this mud and us, 17Less deathly than the air that shudders black with 37Shrivelling many hands, puckering foreheads crisp. snow, 38The burying-party, picks and shovels in shaking 18With sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause, and grasp, renew; 39Pause over half-known faces. All their eyes are ice, 19We watch them wandering up and down the winds 40But nothing happens. nonchalance, 20But nothing happens.
  8. 8. Literary Allusions “1Our brains ache…” echoes “My heart aches”, the very first words of “Ode to a Nightingale” by Keates, a favorite poet of Owen. Song by Ivor Novello: “Keep the home fires burning…. Though our lads are faraway they dream of home.” 28For hours the innocent mice rejoice: the house is theirs; 29Shutters and doors, all closed: on us the doors are closed, 30We turn back to our dying. 26Slowly our ghosts drag home: glimpsing the sunk fires, glozed 27With crusted dark-red jewels Merryn Williams, 1993 and 1999
  9. 9. Figurative Language: alliteration personification simile1Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that 21Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our knive us... faces 2Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent... 22We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and 3Low, drooping flares confuse our memory of the stare, snow-dazed, salient... 23Deep into grassier ditches. So we drowse, sun- 4Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, dozed, nervous, 24Littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird 5But nothing happens. fusses, 25Is it that we are dying? 6Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire, 7Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles. 26Slowly our ghosts drag home: glimpsing the sunk 8Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunnery fires, glozed rumbles, 27With crusted dark-red jewels; crickets jingle there; 9Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war. 28For hours the innocent mice rejoice: the house is 10What are we doing here? theirs; 29Shutters and doors, all closed: on us the doors are11The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow... closed, 12We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag 30We turn back to our dying. stormy. 13Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army 31Since we believe not otherwise can kind fires burn; 14Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of 32Nor ever suns smile true on child, or field, or fruit. gray, 33For Gods invincible spring our love is made afraid; 15But nothing happens. 34Therefore, not loath, we lie out here; therefore were born,16Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence. 35For love of God seems dying. 17Less deathly than the air that shudders black with snow, 36To-night, this frost will fasten on this mud and us, 18With sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause, and 37Shrivelling many hands, puckering foreheads crisp. renew; 38The burying-party, picks and shovels in shaking 19We watch them wandering up and down the winds grasp, nonchalance, 39Pause over half-known faces. All their eyes are ice, 20But nothing happens. 40But nothing happens.
  10. 10. Tone- throughout the poem, the reader can see religious connections… The psychological force keeping the men there parallels hanging on a cross. Line 7 shows the possibility of dying for others:7 “Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles.” Other quotes…33 “For Gods invincible spring our love is made afraid”35 “For love of God seems dying.” The presence of God and the suffering of soldiers in comparison to the suffering of Jesus Christ, is apparent in the poem. Merryn Williams, 1993 and 1999
  11. 11. Syntax1Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that 21Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our knive us... faces 2Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent... 22We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and 3Low, drooping flares confuse our memory of the stare, snow-dazed, salient... 23Deep into grassier ditches. So we drowse, sun- 4Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, dozed, nervous, 24Littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird 5But nothing happens. fusses, 25Is it that we are dying? 6Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire, 7Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles. 26Slowly our ghosts drag home: glimpsing the sunk 8Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunnery fires, glozed rumbles, 27With crusted dark-red jewels; crickets jingle there; 9Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war. 28For hours the innocent mice rejoice: the house is 10What are we doing here? theirs; 29Shutters and doors, all closed: on us the doors are closed,11The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow... 30We turn back to our dying. 12We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy. 13Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army 31Since we believe not otherwise can kind fires burn; 14Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of 32Nor ever suns smile true on child, or field, or fruit. gray, 33For Gods invincible spring our love is made afraid; 15But nothing happens. 34Therefore, not loath, we lie out here; therefore were born, 35For love of God seems dying.16Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence. 17Less deathly than the air that shudders black with snow, 36To-night, this frost will fasten on this mud and us, 18With sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause, and 37Shrivelling many hands, puckering foreheads crisp. renew; 38The burying-party, picks and shovels in shaking 19We watch them wandering up and down the winds grasp, nonchalance, 39Pause over half-known faces. All their eyes are ice, 20But nothing happens. 40But nothing happens.
  12. 12. Rhyme End stop lineThere is punctuation at the end of almost every line. Slant rhymeIn an abbac pattern, the lines end with words that sound similar, but do not actually rhyme. 6Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire, 7Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles. 8Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunnery rumbles, 9Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war. 10What are we doing here?
  13. 13. PurposeAfter studying the poem, we know that it was written to counter the propaganda created by various governments to portray the war as a great and noble cause. This is a very popular theme with many of Wilfred Owen’s other poems.
  14. 14. Title Revisited….We now see that the title “Exposure” has dual meanings: The men are being “exposed” to harsh weather conditions and violence. Wilfred Owen has “exposed” the truth about the nakedness and vulnerability the soldiers are feeling while fighting. The war is not as glorified as many have made it out to be.

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