1st March 2018


Exposure is when a person is exposed for an extended period of time to extreme weather. In this poem Wilfred Owen described the harsh weather buffeting his garrison as a dangerous enemy by using personification. An example of the authors personification is seen in the first line of the poem where he writes “Our brains ache, in the merciless iced winds that knife us” which shows the reader that the wind is so wild it has become painful,  the words “merciless” and “knives” indicate that there is no end to the weather, it is constantly blowing and the wind is painful and sharp like a knife stabbing into the soldier’s chests. Another example is the line; “mad gusts tugging on the wire”, the gust being described as “mad” give the reader the feeling that the wind is insane and out to get them, which is reinforced by the words “tugging on the wire” that conveys the wind and weather is malicious and trying to get in. The author describes the weather as being deadlier than the bullets in one sentence; “Sudden, successive flights of bullets streak the silence, less deadly than the air that shudders black with snow”. By using alliteration to show the speed and ferocity of the bullets being fired at them it gives the reader an idea that the bullets are very dangerous, However the author then describes the air as being more deadly than the bullets which conveys to the reader the true power of the weather. When the author writes; “pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our faces” he conveys to the reader that the cold is a stealth killer and that when trying to keep warm the soldiers are hiding from it.

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