It is believed that the train is in the water, but the gale is still so strong that a steamboat has not yet been able to reach the bridge. The train was duly signalled from Fife as having entered the bridge at 7. It was seen running along the rails, and then suddenly was observed a flash of fire. The opinion was that the train left the rails, and went over the bridge.
In The Last Laugh, Wilfred Owen explores the sudden death of three soldiers, who, when dying, invoked their loved ones or religion in a bid to feel closer. It is an awfully desolate spot and constantly under shell fire. This morning I was trying to get a sleep on the grass, when a shell burst in a tree, not fifty yards away, and sent a shower of leaves to the ground.
Fortunately no one was hit, another burst in the same field ten minutes afterwards, then I thought it was time to shift! So went into a barn. There are a number of dugouts around, but they are so cold, and you might get buried inside. The farm is a vile place, with a lot of stagnant water around, and a lot of German soldiers are buried here.
The barn where we sleep would be improved if a shell struck the roof, and ventilated it, in our absence! As the smell inside is bad, and makes it nearly necessary to wear a respirator!
The rats seem to object to our company as they often have a free fight on top of us. Living in the trenches in the midst of the war, Owen was no stranger to the death that took soldiers suddenly and sharply.
The trenches, often sunken, mud-mired places filthy with the dead, would often be the target of the German shelling. The better-equipped, and better-positioned, German army ran roughshod over the British soldiers. Death thus became a daily habit for many of the soldiers in World War I, and not least for Wilfred Owen.
It symbolizes the ultimate victory of the unnamed man over his foe, usually someone who deserves the ridicule. In this war, there are no survivors. It also draws allusions to his poem Exposure, primarily through the use of the single-focus perception. Instead of taking a broader view of war, as he did in his much-celebrated work Dulce et Decorum Est, Owen minimizes his perception to these three soldiers instead.
There is nothing beyond them, and thus this focus entails that the reader is far more acutely aware of the tragedy of the war. Whether he vainly cursed or prayed indeed, The Bullets chirped—In vain, vain, vain!
And the Big Gun guffawed.
The first stanza opens with the death of an anonymous soldier. Owen was devoutly religious, of course; however, there were a great many men who lost their belief in a higher purpose in the war, and Owen himself must have doubted, at some point, that this was the purpose that God had for all of them.
Putting the reference of religion into the poem shows at once how ineffectual praying has become: God cannot listen anymore. You will die alone, and you will die in vain. By personalizing the guns and their laughter, Owen actually gives them a much stronger character than the soldiers that are dying.
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It is the guns who have won this war. It is the guns, therefore, who have had the last laugh — only the guns who triumph.
Note, as well, the use of gleeful sounds, nearly childish sounds — chirped, chuckled, guffawed, are all words that seem ecstatic and cruel.
And the lofty Shrapnel-cloud Leisurely gestured,—Fool! And the splinters spat, and tittered. The second stanza takes a different soldier — one who calls out to his family at the moment of his death, to no avail.
They return to purity only when the guns take them away from the indignity and the anger of the war. Here, the war-machine takes a far more contemptuous view of the death of the soldier.
This can also be taken as a larger expression on the futility of understanding the war itself. Love-languid seemed his mood, Till slowly lowered, his whole face kissed the mud.Wilfred Owen’s ‘The Last Laugh’: The Wasted Youth If the entirety of the history of the human race was written in a book, one of the most predominant themes would be war.
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A Modest Proposal By Jonathan Swift - “A Modest Proposal”, written in by Jonathan Swift, is a fascinating sardonic, irrefutable hyperbole. Analysis of Wilfred Owen’s The Last Laugh Wilfred Owen is well known for his portrayed war poetry on the trench and gas warfare. Owen wrote many poems during his lifetime and one of them is called ‘The Last Laugh’.
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