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"Dulce Et Decorum Est," Vs. "Not Waving But Drowning

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In "Dulce et Decorum Est," written by Wilfred Owen, and "Not Waving but Drowning," written by Stevie Smith, there are similarities in imagery, in tone, and in how each of their views are reflected in their poems. In "Dulce et Decorum Est," the tone is very sad and pitiful because of the soldiers that are dying a horrible death in war. In "Not Waving but Drowning," there is also a tone of sadness and pity because there is a person who is drowning and trying to ask for help but no one replies because they think he is waving to say hi. The imagery you get in these two poems is also similar; of a person dying a horrible death, whether it was from poison gas or drowning in water.

The tones of both of these poems are very similar. They both sound sad and make the reader feel pity. When Owen writes, "Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, as under a sea, I saw him drowning. He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning," the tone is very sad (quoted in Literature, p.929). You also get an image of what mustard gas can do to a soldier as it overwhelms him causing him to choke and bleed while he tries to ask for help, gasp for air, and hang on to his last moments of life. The image gives you a sense of the horrors of war. "In Not Waving but Drowning," there is also that sense of sadness and pity. Smith writes "Nobody heard him, the dead man. But still he lay moaning: I was much further out than you thought and not waving but drowning." (quoted in Literature, pg. 1078) This makes the reader feel pity for the person who just died because of a misunderstanding and adds a tone of sadness. The imagery you get here is similar to that in "Dulce et Decorum Est" because you also get an image of someone just barely clinging on to life and gasping for his last breathes while trying to wave for help.

Both of these poems also reflect their authors. On page 928 in the Literature



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