Smile, Smile, Smile by Wilfred Owen

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Smile, Smile, Smile by Wilfred Owen Presentation by: Melanie Portal Rabeea Khalid IB English 12 SL

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Smile, Smile, Smile by Wilfred Owen. Presentation by: Melanie Portal Rabeea Khalid IB English 12 SL. About the Poet. Wilfred Owen 18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918 Most of his famous works were published posthumously Killed in action (Battle of the Sambre ) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Smile, Smile, Smile by Wilfred Owen

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Smile, Smile, Smile

by Wilfred OwenPresentation by:Melanie PortalRabeea KhalidIB English 12 SL

About the PoetWilfred Owen 18 March 1893 4 November 1918 Most of his famous works were published posthumouslyKilled in action (Battle of the Sambre)Died a week before the war ended

About the Poem Written on 23rd September 1918 in France Written after Owen rejoined his regiment at Scarborough [after recovering from Neurasthenia (shell shock) at Craiglockhart Hospital]Owen revised this poem when there was a lull (quiet period) in September 1918Dated to be Owens last complete poemKnown to be explicitly satirical (mocking) and politically subversive (rebellious)


Background InformationOwen writes about 2 events:French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau refused Austrias peace offer because it would betray the troopsIn London, pictures were being published of three smiling wounded menThe caption read Happy Owen felt disgusted and shared his disgust with Sassoon

Thesis Wilfred Owen exposes the reality and harshness of the war in this satirical poem by contrasting propaganda and realism through the use of literary devices and diction.Origin of the Title Comes from a very popular marching song of WWI called Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile, Smile, SmileOriginally written by George Henry PowellAimed at maintaining moral, recruiting forces, and defending Britains war aimsFitting to poem due to its sarcastic nature

Pack Your Bags

Courtesy: www.firstworldwar.comPerformed by Murray Johnson 1916

Performed by Reinald Werrenrath 1917

Performed by Spiked Jones and his City Slickers 1942

Summary of the PoemLines 1-4: scene is setwounded soldiers are reading the latest drivel (a worthless message) from the Daily MailLines 5-17: propaganda message written in the Daily MailLines 18-23: reality of the warLines 24-26: ironic conclusion

VocabularyLimp (1): not firmSunk (1): doomed to extinction, depressed, dejectedMail (2): refers to the Daily Mail, a British newspaperBooty (3): plunder taken from an enemy in time of warHaul (3): analogy - a fish caught in a netAerodromes (7): any location from which aircraft flying operations take placeUndying: never ending Stead (11): the post or function properly or customarily occupied or served by anotherSolidly (11): with strength and soundness, firm manner

VocabularyIndemnified (12): secure against future lossVictory (13): a successful ending of a struggleIntegrity (17): accordance with the relevant moral values, norms and rulesChafe (18): feel extreme irritation or angerCuriously (19): beyond or deviating from the usual or expectedBroad (24): wide, having great (or a certain) extent from one side to the otherRings (25): vibrating soundPoor (26): lacking in specific resources, qualities or substancesThings (26): an entity that is not named specifically

Who is Speaking? OwenUsually, poets strive to create their own individual voicesThe 2 events are not personally experienced by OwenThus, I isnt used

To Whom?No one specificallyOwen is speaking to the British people in general and trying to notify them about the sham that the newspapers are creatingUnlike his other poems, Owen does NOT use the word youNo link to the reader is being made

Setting Beaten up and wounded soldiers are reading the newspaperBut smiled at one another curiously (19)implying that they are together reading the paperpossibly at aEngland one by one had fled to France (22) communal place (ex. on the streets)in France

Purpose To expose the nationalism that embraces the soldiers and exploits themtheir foremost need is aerodromes (7)The sons we offered might regret they died / If we got nothing lasting in their stead (10-11)We must be solidly indemnified. (12)The greatest glory will be theirs who fought / Who kept this nation in integrity (16-17)

Purpose To attack the Daily Mails vision of a victorious nationthe casualties (typed small) / And (large) Vast Booty from our Latest Haul (2-3)worthy Victory (13)Daily Mail censored the casualties yet displayed the Booty (goods obtained)Daily Mail was notoriously jingoistic (infamously patriotic)Purpose To expose the potential bitterness towards society from those who survivedNation? -- the half-limped soldiers did not chafe (18)But smiled at each other curiously (19)chafe: feel extreme irritation or angercuriously: beyond or deviating from the usual or expected

Meter & Rhyme Single extended stanzaCan be divided into 6 quatrains (alternative rhyme scheme)Propaganda section is a monotonous iambic meterOther sections are trochees (metrical foot of two syllables, one long/stressed and one short/unstressed)Trochee: opposite of the iambContrast differentiates the sham from reality

Literary Devices Metaphorsmaking homes (6)settle down, quit fightingforemost need is aerodromes (7)need more people to fight, people are being compared to war utensilsThe sons we offered might regret they died / If we got nothing lasting in their stead (10-11)the young soldiers who previously joined and died, they will not be at peace if there is no one to replace them so join the army to give them peace

Literary DevicesMetaphors (continued)We rulers sitting in this ancient spot we rulers refers to the newspaper ancient spot is Britain England one by one had fled to France many English soldiers were in France to fight during the war

Literary Devices PersonificationEngland one by one fled to FranceEngland = English soldiersAlliteration enhances rhythmWould wrong (15)Greatest glory (16)Consonance usually used to create harmonydead (9) and died (10)ironic

Literary DevicesRepetitionHead to limp head, sunk-eyed (1) and half-limbed (18)nationalism doesnt pay attention to the mental and physical maiming of the soldiers Cheap homes and making homes many died and never got a chance to make a home and raise a familysmiled (19), smiles(24), smile (26) appears 3 timesa link to title of poem

Diction & Connotation Caustic harsh and corrosive in languagelimp head (1)sunk-eyed (1)half-limbed (18)The men who make up the nation are physically damaged

Diction & Connotation The sons we offered (10)sacrificialEngland one by one fled to Francefled: an action done willingly yet the soldiers had to move to France to fight

Imagery & Symbolism limp head, sunk-eyed wounded (1) half-limbed readers (18) wounded soldiers = reality of war aerodromes (7)symbolizes that war must go onSons we offered(10) sacrificial connotation which means they (people like the Majors in Base Details) are not concerned about the young who diedImagery & Symbolism Solidly indemnified(12) image of staying strong and fortification; need for more soldiers to ensure victorylike secret men who know their secret safe (20) the soldiers know the real truth

Tone & MoodSatirical Sassoons influence on OwenPropaganda section enthusiasticOther sections patronizing toneThe mens first instinct will be making homes (6) instinctive actions rather than rational actionsPeace would do wrong to our undying dead(9)the dead would resent the survival of others, insult to the deadTone & Mood & Atmosphere We rulers sitting in this ancient spot (14)we (Daily Mail) decide what to sayHow they smile! Theyre happy now, poor thingsmany suggest Owen is mocking the women, this line has a feminine touch; can be arguedPolitically rebelliousNation? (18)

Tension & Conflicts PropagandaRealityMore people are needed to cover up for the deadIf you fight, glory will be yours since you helped keep the nation in its integritySoldiers are maimed mentally and physicallyThey know England is no longer where it was before but rather where they are nowSoldiers smiled curiously because they know the real truth

Irony It being certain war has just begun (8)war was coming to an endPeace would do wrong to our undying dead (9)peace should bring harmony and calmness, yet it would do wrongThe sons we offered might regret they died (10)someone dead isnt able to regretHow they smile! Theyre happy now, poor things (26) sarcastic and mockery

Theme Owens's recurring theme of exposing the truth about the war is very prominent Nation? (18) one way Owen exposes the soldiers real feelings and beliefsNationalism and how the soldiers have none leftThe lies of propaganda Conclusion Owen denounces nationalismCreates a strong ironic image of war torn soldiers reading about the glory the war Shows how propaganda in news papers and songs was used to try and recruit fit soldiers to join the warOwen shows the readers the story from the soldiers point of viewthey know everything, including the fact that the glorification of war was just a big lie. Art AspectPropaganda PosterBoth poem and poster convey the same messageAdvertizing the need for more soldiersNotice the capitalization on the top and bottom for emphasisDark background + light font = eye catchingWe must be solidly indemnified (12) and poster have same meaningPoster = heroic picturePoem = greatest glory will be theirs who fought (16)

How We Feel About this PoemRabeea:I believe this poem not only is exposing the propaganda during WWI but it can also account for the continuous propaganda right now. We read newspapers daily about the Canadian or American army recruiting young men to fight for their country. They all fight, some die, some are left being amputees. Do they obtain glory? No, all they get is pain and misery. I believe this poem states just that. In this poem, even after fighting for their country, the soldiers are now half-limbed and are reading the jingoistic newspaper. After experiencing the war first-hand, they know the truth of the war.How We Feel About this PoemMelanie:I really like the way Owen sets up this poem in the sense that it shows us what kind of nonsense the newspapers would write about and how they would exploit the soldiers in such inhumane ways. The papers say that the ones who died need to be replaced otherwise they will gain nothing and what they are doing is worthless. Owen did a good job of showing sarcastically what he thinks of this propaganda, and by writing Nation? with an question mark he shows his disgust. The fact that this poem is related to an actual song aimed to keep the troops in moral and keep them fighting sends a strong message and strengthens Owen's point.