Paired Text Essay Essay, Research Paper
War is and always will be a horrible place to be in or at. We can learn this from the two war pieces of the film Platoon and the poetry of Wilfred Owen. The main theme in Platoon is of the loss of innocence caused by the war. Owens poetry is somewhat different. He displays and conveys the images of the harsh living conditions on the battlefields of France.
The settings in both pieces display similarity and get straight to the point. Platoon was full of mud, slime and humidity, whilst Owens poetry depicted almost the same situation. At the beginning of Platoon we find ourselves in a dense, humid jungle filtered by blue light to give an eerie feel to it. The director, Oliver Stone, displays the sheer darkness and density of the jungle by viewing the tree-tops from beneath, with the gaps in the foliage just letting in enough blue light to be able to see. The jungle floor was also extremely muddy and slimy. The roots of the tall trees made the terrain tough to travel on as well. The battlefields of France where Owen s poetry is set is somewhat the same. In one of his letters to his mother Owen describes his place of living, The ground was not mud, not sloppy mud, but an octopus of sucking clay, 3, 4 and 5 feet deep relieved only by craters full of water. He compares the mud to a sucking octopus. In his poem Dulce et Decorum Est, Owen describes the soldiers as they trudge along the unwilling terrain. He uses examples of men losing their boots to show the harshness of war and the unforgiving terrain. The Sentry is another poem in which Owen describes the harsh settings of the war. In The Sentry he uses lines such as, Rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime and Kept slush waist-high that, rising hour by hour, choked up the steps too thick with clay to climb. He uses this to say that the men are trapped in the trenches by the muddy terrain and rain, making it impossible to escape. This is in comparison to the war where the men are unable to escape the hellish conditions and mind-altering images of their fellow soldiers dying beside them in anguish.
Both Stone and Owen use a number of symbols and imagery to put forward their ideas on the war. Stone uses separate characters and sets the soldiers against eachother, instead of fighting the enemy. He creates two groups within the main Platoon. Each group is lead by two leaders, Sgt. Barnes and Sgt. Elias. Elias is portrayed as a Christ-like figure, whilst Barnes is completely the opposite; he is hellish in appearance and character.