Futility by Wilfred Owen – analysis

Wilfred Owen’s poem is questioning the hopelessness of war – what is the purpose of mankind if we are only going to destroy ourselves? The poem also questions god; why did god create us, and if he is omnipotent and benevolent, then why does he let war happen?

Throughout the poem, the author uses the language device of personification, in particular focusing on the sun, an example being the quote “the kind old sun”. The sun is symbolic for god, described as benevolent and ‘waking the clays of a cold star’, meaning that the sun bought life to work. However, despite being a devote Christian, during the duration of the poem Wilfred Owen is questioning his faith, his doubts becoming apparent when he comes across the body of a dead soldier, and after moving him into the sun he wonders why, although the sun, (who is a symble for god) who can wake seeds ands bought life to earth, why that he cannot bring back life to this dead soldier.

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