A Study of How Homer Uses Figure of Speech, Imagery and Argument in the Iliad
War is most commonly thought of as a bloody and depressing state. However, in Homer’s “The Iliad” war is used by the warriors of it, searching for their own glory in these gruesome battles. Homer displays this quest for glory through heavy use of imagery, dialogue, and similes that show obvious need for glory through each warrior’s actions.
The warriors quest for glory is quite obvious in the beginning of book 17, when Euphorbus brutally murders Patroclus, and then goes on to cry out “I was the first Trojan…to spear Patroclus down… so let me seize my glory among the Trojans now”(17.15-18). From the quote it is inferred that Euphorbus feels that because of this great accomplishment (defeating one of the greek’s powerful warriors) he deserves to “seize [his own] glory” (17.17), thus completing his quest. The warriors quest for glory can also be seen when Hector “[leaps] to his chariot, flinging the burnished gear [of Patroclus] to his waiting troops to haul away to troy, trophies to be his own enormous glory” (17.144-151) Homer’s use of imagery displays that men would act in betrayal (this being Hector, taking patroclus’ armor to receive credit that Euphorbus deserved) to accomplish their quest for glory.
Not only is the warriors quest for glory related to killing powerful enemies but it could also be gained from showing expert skill and bravery. Such skill is displayed when Menelaus, attempting to seize the body of Patroclus, is depicted as “fierce as a mountain lion sure of his power, seizing the choicest head from a good grazing herd” (17.69-70). The scene portrays Menelaus’s great skill as he swoops in to capture Patroclus’ body from the fray. Menelaus does this in hopes to receive credit for his skills in retrieving the mutilated body of Patroclus. Ajax’s fearless acts towards Hector shows the bravery warrior’s go through to attempt to receive glory as “in charges Ajax, shield like a tower before him” (17.146) to “shield Patroclus round with his broad buckler, stood fast like a lion cornered round his young.”(17.151-153). This is a very noble and brave act, one that would allow Ajax to receive glory from his comrades, completing his quest.
In conclusion, Homer is able to convey the warriors quest for glory by expertly portraying the above warriors actions as they all strive to receive credit for their actions through his use of meaningful dialogue, imagery, and similes. His methods allowed him to display the warriors actions through betrayal, skill, and bravery and led to much more than a bloody and gruesome battle, but rather display a deeper characterization of some of the warriors, showing their struggles within the poem.
Sinners In The Hands Of Angry God: Jonathan Edward’s Use Of Similes And Metaphors
Jonathan Edwards’s “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” uses some of the best and most interesting metaphors and similes. “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” is a puritan sermon written to bring people back to religion. Although the intent of this sermon is a common one the way in which it is written is not. It is written in such a way that even while it demeans the congregation it frightens them into submission. Edwards does this by using metaphors and similes to create vivid imagery in people’s minds.
Some of the most vital aspects of Edwards’s sermons were metaphors. Edwards used many metaphors to make his sermons more compelling and engrossing. But these metaphors could also be very abhorrent. One of the metaphors is “ We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that ant thing hangs by; thus easy is it for God when he pleases to cast his enemies down to hell.” He uses this line to make his congregation understands that God in omnipotent and can send them to hell whenever he wants. As harsh as this is the congregation took this in their minds as a reason to not sin, as was Edwards’s purpose.
Another metaphor used by Edwards to brainwash his congregation is “ The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow.” This second metaphor closely follows the first to illustrate what hell will be like. It compares hell to a furnace, showing the heat and fire. He first tells them that God will cast them into hell on a whim then he makes them realize just how awful this would be. This shows that Edwards is a true literary genius, he understands how to affect people with his speaking. One more metaphor used by Edwards is “ The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire…” This metaphor talks about how God could care less about you, you are to him as a spider is to you. He makes it obvious that we are all nothing in the eyes of the almighty.
Edwards also uses forceful narration to produce vivid imagery. His imagery forces the listeners to visualize hell and how easily they could end up there.
One sentence that provokes vivid images is “It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of almighty God one moment; buy you must suffer it to all eternity”. Edwards conjures images of torture and everlasting pain. He asserts that not only will you go to hell but also you will indefinitely endure torture that would be unbearable for a bare moment. Another extraordinary image producing phrase is “ How awful is it to be left behind at such a day! To see so many others feasting, while you are pining and perishing! To see so many rejoicing and singing for joy of heart, while you have cause to mourn for sorrow of heart, and howl for vexation of spirit! How can you rest one moment in such a condition?” In this Edwards creates an image of everyone celebrating and generally being happy. But while this is going on you endure torture and are left behind in hell while others go to heaven. He shows just how awful those punishments given by God are.
In “ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Edwards is able to easily convince his congregation of their wrongdoing easily. Edwards does this by using amazing imagery and innovative metaphors. Edwards constantly reminds his people that they are going to hell and how awful it will be. The sermon was extremely effective then and could well be now. For effectiveness now though, it may need to be changed in a number of ways to suit the current times and mindset.
The Glass Castle Versus The Color Of Water: A Comparative Analysis Of The Use Of Imagery, Diction, Similes And Humor In The Two Works
The Glass Castle and The Color of Water are two evocative memoirs whose use of literary devices portrays the stories of troubled childhoods to successful futures. The authors of these works both utilize imagery and similes to add meaning to the text; however, they differ in their use of diction and humor. Jeannette Walls uses concrete diction and a unique way of conveying humor where as James McBride uses abstract diction and conveys humor in a more traditional manor.
The effective utilization of imagery by both McBride and Walls helps to reveal their inspiring life stories. Although McBride and Walls both use imagery, Walls’s imagery is more detail oriented than McBride’s imagery therefore making Walls’s style of diction more concrete than McBride’s abstract style. “That afternoon I was alone in the house, still enjoying the itchy, dry feeling of my-chlorine-scoured skin and the wobbly-bone feeling you get from a lot of exercise, when I heard a knock on the door (Page 193).” This is an example of Walls’s imagery. Her use of such descriptive words leaves little to the imagination of the reader. Another example of how Walls uses imagery is “The main street wide-with sun-bleached cars and pickups parked at an angle to the curb- but only a few blocks long, flanked on both sides by low, flat-roofed buildings made of adobe or brick (Page 51).” Also, “…a dark Spanish dining table with eight matching chairs, a hand-carved upright piano, sideboards with antique silver serving sets, and glass-fronted cabinets filled with Grandma’s bone china… (Page 94)” is another example of how Walls utilizes imagery to convey to the reader a vivid picture. By using such pronounced descriptive words, not only exemplifies her mastery of imagery but also her prolific method of concrete diction. McBride also uses imagery as shown by “It’s what made the river flow, the ocean swell, and the tide rise, but it was a silent power, intractable, indomitable, indisputable, and thus completely ignorable (Page 94).” His imagery is more conceptual in nature. Another example of this is “I envisioned her as the wise sage, sitting in a rocking chair, impassively pouring the moving details of her life into my waiting tape recorder over six weeks, maybe two months, me prodding her along, her cooperating, cringing, inching, mother and son, hand in hand, fighting forward, emotionally wrought, until-behold! (Page 267-268).” Again McBride portrays his imagery in a broader way; the reader gets a picture of the idea, not an exact portrayal of the scene as in Walls’s work. McBride’s utilization of imagery demonstrates his more conceptual style, making his method of diction abstract. Although imagery was a literary device frequently used by both authors, it was not the only one that aided them in creating these worthy memoirs.
Besides the use of imagery, both authors used a great deal of similes to help further explain the meaning of the text. McBride uses numerous similes to enhance the readers understanding of his work. For example, “They were mostly women, bug mamas whom I knew and loved, but when the good Lord climbed into their bones and lifted them up toward Sweet Liberty, kind, gentle women who mussed my hair and kissed me on my cheek and gave me dimes would burst out of their seats like Pittsburgh Steeler linebackers (Page 49).” This exhibits McBride’s excellent use of simile to give the reader a greater understanding of how the women were so enthusiastic about their religion that they would get up out of their seats with the same swiftness that Steelers linebackers would jump off the line of scrimmage. McBride further adds to the readers comprehension by stating “It had gotten to the point where I didn’t see why she made such a secret of it, and the part that wanted to understand who I was began to irk and itch at me, like a pesky mosquito bite that cries out to be scratched (Page 173).” This simile is so relatable to most people, the annoying itch of a mosquito bite, that it makes the reader understand how gnawing the question of race was to James. Walls use of simile, although not as strong as McBride’s, still enhances the text overall meaning. “Ernie Goad was a put-nosed, thick-necked kid who had little eyes set practically on the side of his head, like a whale (Page 165).” This simile gives the reader a great visual of how odd Ernie’s looks were by using a widely known creature such as a whale. When Walls was explaining the attempt by Lori’s mother to create a dress for her, the use of simile gives the reader a relatable image of how poorly it looked on Lori. As the text states, “But I told her I looked like I was wearing a big pillowcase with elephant trunks sticking out of the sides (Page 153).” Both authors saw value in providing similes for the reader. Walls and McBride’s similes add visuals that strengthen the readers understanding of the written word and provide further insight to the writer’s true meaning.
Not only does the use of simile provide a hiatus from the seriousness of both memoirs but also the use of humor helps to lighten the mood of each work. McBride’s humor is traditional as exhibited in “Folks got sick and died back in them days like it was a new dance coming out. Plop! Dead as a doornail (Page 60).” This excerpt from the story uses humor while talking about a dark subject in death. Additionally, McBride uses humor to describe the way his mother sleeps. “A hurricane won’t move her, but the sound of a crying baby or a falling pot will send her to her feet like a soldier at reveille (Page 178).” In The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls uses imagination at times to create a playful mood in a rather serious story. For example, “I got Dad his knife with the carved bone handle and the blade of blue German steel, and he gave me a pipe wrench, and we went looking for Demon. We looked under my bed, where I had seen it, but it was gone. We looked all around the house- under the table, in the dark corners of the closets, in the toolbox, even outside in the trash cans (Page 36).” This excerpt from the memoir refers to when Jeannette and Rex went demon chasing. This quote demonstrates how Walls’s character uses her overactive imagination to construct a funny, light-hearted, and carefree section in an otherwise solemn tale. The use of humor provided the reader quintessential relief from the sobering sagas created by McBride and Walls.
Imagery, diction, simile and humor served as powerful tools for James McBride and Jeannette Walls in the creation of their memoirs. They both used imagery and similes to strengthen the meaning of their works; however, McBride and Walls employed diction and humor in slightly different ways. McBride’s traditional use of humor and abstract use of diction made his novel a vivid account of the issues of race effecting lives during that time period. Walls’s unique use of humor and concrete diction enhanced her depiction of the struggles from her childhood. The Glass Castle and The Color of Water are works that exemplify the tenacity of human kind.
An Analysis of Metaphors and Similes in “The God of Small Things”
‘Her reality is magical. She has a heightened awareness of the natural world, of smells and sounds, of colour and light. And she renders palpable this world, at once strange and familiar, in prose of sinuous beauty… A small wonder of style and compassion.’ (Jason Cowley, The Times)
With her sharp imagery, logical thought and emotional sensitivity, Arundhati Roy presents before us a world we can very easily identify with. Her lucid language, witty puns and quick and sudden shifts into thoughts serve to make us more comfortable rather than to confuse us like Faulkner’s work does. She is more close to Steinbeck in style than she is to Morrison, with an additional quality of excessive use of similes and metaphors that help to lend more beauty to her work. Her ‘utterly exceptional masterpiece,’ The God of Small Things, justifies Rushdie’s statement that ‘Literature is self-Validating.’ Along with the brilliance of its inter-related themes and genuine tragic resonance, the novel appeals to our senses for its marvelous descriptions. Roy attempts to ‘show’ rather than just ‘tell’ and this she does, with great success.
Use of similes and the connections she makes between tangible objects and imaginary feelings, between apparent realities and the ones buried deep down in the untraded corners of our minds, between the objects we can visualize and the ones we can just see with the eye of our soul, make her writing very, very interesting. There is an abundance of similes on every other page and it appalls the readers to imagine that with every other thing that she talks about, she can think of something ‘else’ that simply and very interestingly connects with it. She describes situations, people and their feelings and none of her descriptions go without being compared to another natural object or feeling or action. Talking about the lives of Estha and Rahel, she writes: Edges, Borders, Boundaries, Brinks and Limits have appeared like a team of trolls on their separate horizons. Short creatures with long shadows, patrolling the Blurry End. Gentle half-moons have gathered under their eyes and they are as old as Ammu was when she died. Thirty-one. Not old. Not young. But a viable die-able age. (Roy 3)
Very interestingly, we move with the flow and imagine where she makes us imagine, all the things that she visualizes herself. Feelings are described in the same fascinating manner. After Sophie Mol’s death, Mammachi is much grieved: ‘Her tears tickled down from behind them (glasses) and trembled along her jaw like raindrops on the edge of a roof’ (Roy 5). Estha, standing close to Ammu, is ‘barely awake, his aching eyes glittering like glass.’ But during all this, Rahel’s imagination is flying somewhere else: “Rahel thought of the someone who had taken the trouble to go up there with cans of paint, white for the clouds, blue for the sky, silver for the jets, and brushes and thinner. She imagined him up there, someone like Velutha, bare bodied and shining, sitting on a plank, swinging from the scaffolding in the high dome of the church, painting silver jets in a blue church sky (Roy 6).” This is not all, she further imagines him ‘dropping like a dark star out of the sky that he had made’ with ‘dark blood spilling from his skull like a secret.’ (Roy 6). Its all very visual and we can not only ‘see’ all the images, but see them as clearly as the writer or her characters do.
Here lies the strength of the description of the writer. Blessed with the power to create characters that appeal to our senses as vividly as the people around us do, Roy makes us meet each one of them in person. We meet Estha who occupies ‘very little space in the world’ because of the strange ‘silence’ that has encompassed his being. We see him ‘sweeping, swabbing’ and doing ‘all the laundry’. We accompany him to the market place where he ‘never bargained. They never cheated him.’ He appears to be a ‘quiet bubble floating on a sea of noise.’ The silence that overwhelms him is no ordinary silence. It has taken over his whole being: “Once the quietness arrived, it stayed and spread in Estha. It reached out of his head and enfolded him in its swampy arms. It rocked him to the rhythm of an ancient, foetal heartbeat. It sent its stealthy, suckered tentacles inching along the insides of his skull, hovering the knolls and dells of his memory, dislodging old sentences, whisking them off the tip of his tongue (Roy 12).” And further we see that he ‘began to look wiser than he really was. Like a fisherman in a city. With sea secrets in him.’ (Roy 13)
His twin sister, Rahel, who ‘drifted into marriage’ with Larry McCaslin, ‘like a passenger drifts towards an occupied chair in an airport lounge’ shares her twin brother’s emptiness. This feeling of void is only another form of ‘quietness in the other’. These ‘two things fitted together. Like stacked spoons. Like familiar lover’s bodies’. The description of these twins as toddlers is very interesting when we jump back to the time when they grew their teeth. While Estha’s teeth were ‘still uneven on the ends’, Rahel’s teeth were ‘waiting inside her gums, like words in a pen. It puzzled everybody that an eighteen-minute age difference could cause such a discrepancy in front-tooth timing’ (Roy 37)
The similes and metaphors that Roy employs very skillfully are simultaneously tactile and surreal, like an overly vivid dream, and her story telling style seems to be an amalgamation of the styles of Joseph Conrad, John Steinbeck and Toni Morrison. Her short and terse sentences deal with such vast notions that the readers, mesmerized with her ability to convey her ideas vividly, can’t help admiring her style. About Chacko, she writes, ‘He claimed to be writing a Family Biography that the Family would have to pay him not to publish’.(Roy 38)
When the twins were born, Ammu ‘counted four eyes, four ears, two mouths, two noses, twenty fingers and twenty perfect toe-nails’ but ironically enough, the father of the twins, ‘stretched out on a hard bench in the hospital corridor, was drunk.’ (Roy 41) Logically enough, with two children and ‘no more dreams’, Ammu returns to her parents after being mal-treated by her husband and we justify the act. Roy brilliantly juxtaposes the opposites through her comparisons. Describing Ammu further, she explains the inner working of her brain like an ‘unmixable mix. The infinite tenderness of motherhood and the reckless rage of a suicide bomber.’ Seen from the eyes of her twins, she sometimes seemed to be the ‘most beautiful’ woman they had ever come across. ‘And sometimes she wasn’t.’ (Roy 45). She shocks us with her sudden shift in her last sentences and this works really well.
I believe Roy slowly reveals the layers of her mind and what it carries in it to the readers. The tools she uses become stronger in her hands as she employs them with full force and interest. Her similes and metaphors turn somewhat sour and sweet simultaneously. The language she uses becomes her helper and sweeps the minds of the readers bare before she can plant the seeds of her own thoughts, as in the following synoptic quotation: “It was the others too. They all broke the rules. They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how. And how much. The laws that make grandmothers grandmothers, uncles uncles, mothers mothers, cousins cousins, jam jam and jelly jelly” (Roy 31). We can see that The God of Small Things captures our attention for various reasons, of which its style is the strongest. It is a work that validates the judgment of John Updike, who believes that, ‘A novel of real ambition must invent its own language, and this one does’ (New Yorker).
Stylistic Devices in the Short Story Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl
Similes are quite often used within the short story, “Lamb to the Slaughter”. An example of this can be identified in the title, which can also be interpreted as: “Like a lamb to the slaughter” the lamb in the story is used as a symbol of innocence, which unconsciously represents Mary Malone in the initial part of the story, even though then her innocence as a “lamb” gets “slaughtered” by her husband. Secondly simile used by the writer is: “She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this mankind to feel- almost as a sunbather feels the sun.” This simile demonstrates her initial caring and devoted feelings towards Patrick, until he doesn’t deceive her with his decision. This overcomes her innocence and leads her to kill him. This technique used by Road Dahl has a great impact on the reader because it gives to the story a symbolic meaning that creates a much more deeper and significant representation of the character’s personality. The decision of the author of using this literature device is interesting and at the same time clear because it demonstrates the total evolution of the main character throughout her actions.
In the story the author uses irony as a literature device. This can be seen in the quote: “”It’d be a favor to me if you’d eat it up. Then you can go on with your work afterwards.” From this quote we can understand how the reader knows that the weapon of the murder is the leg of the lamb, but the detectives don’t, while they are eating it. This creates a pause within the story and within the reader because it makes the reader reflect a lot on wether the police at this point will understand that Mary is the killer of her husband or not. Irony is a major device used by Roald Dahl even when Patrick says to Mary: “Don’t make supper for me. I’m going out.” Mary here already knows her intentions and at the same time Patrick isn’t aware that she is going to kill him without giving him the possibility to go out. This moment of the story leaves the reader to wonder wether or not she will make this terrible action. The use of irony within the story has a great impact on the reader by creating strong emotions which give the opportunity to the reader to know what Patrick’s character awaits and on the other hand understand Mary’s intentions.
The author builds up suspense within the story, by using foreshadowing. This literature device is used to give the reader a hint of the increasing tension between Mary and Patrick, this is shown when he says: “‘This is going to be a bit of a shock to you, I’m afraid.” The writer has chosen this technique because he wants to create an uncomfortable situation between the two characters and make it detect to the reader. This leads the reader to think that something negative is going to occur within their relationship, making curiosity increase within the reader’s mind. The descriptions of Mary’s character are build up step after step to make the reader suspect Mary’s change. This creates anticipation within the story using effective writing. The uncertainty created within the reader on Mary’s real intentions is a technique used by the author to create suspense throughout foreshadowing. The use of foreshadowing as a device is effective within Roald Dahl’s short story because it creates dramatic tension within the trend of the story and conveys little information at a time to help the reader understand what could come next.
In my opinion an important device used within the story, is imagery. We can understand this throughout the descriptive language that the author uses to create visual imagery to describe Mary’s Maloney character:”Her skin for this was her sixth month with child had acquired a wonderful translucent quality, the mouth was soft, and the eyes, with their new placid look, seemed larger darker than before.” This quote implies Mary Maloney as an innocent, sweet and caring wife, by helping the reader visualise better the type of person Mary Maloney is. The same technique is used to make the reader visualise better the atmosphere created within the story:”The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight- hers and the one by the empty chair opposite. On the sideboard behind her, two tall glasses, soda water, whiskey. Fresh ice cubes in the Thermos bucket.” This device is used to create mystery within the reader’s mind, without making the turning point of the story explicit. Throughout the story, imagery has a great impact because it explores within the mind of the reader by transmitting different emotions that give an overall understanding of the circumstances within the story.
Wilfred Owen’s Dulce Et Decorum Est: Alliteration and Simile
To illustrate “the old Lie: Dulce et decorum est/Pro matria mori” (Owen “Dulce et Decorum Est” 27-28), Owen uses alliteration and simile.
First, Owen uses alliteration to show that it is not sweet and proper to die for your country. The poem is about “the old Lie” (27) that it is sweet and proper to die for your country. Wilfred Owen describes the façade that seems to make the war sound pleasant because the soldiers are serving their country and saving it. He contrasts this by describing the real conditions and situations that soldiers go through during World War I in trench warfare. The first instance of the alliteration disproving “the old Lie” (27) is in one of the dreams of one of the soldiers where he describes the poison gas affecting him. The effect describes itself as “watch[ing] the white eyes writhing in his face” (19). The description of the pain emphasizes horrors of war by describing an extremely gruesome detail. The alliteration shows that the harsh “w” sound portrays the tactile imagery with the loss of breath that would happen during war, if a soldier was dying. The “w” sound shows that lips twist and the face will twist while trying to pronounce the words Owen uses. The alliteration reinforces the idea by emphasizing the terror, which the color white associates with. In addition, the word “writhing” (19) describes the eyes and the agony and panic that the soldier goes through. Owen further enforces this idea by conveying that Owen possesses a strong hatred of the war and disgust with what war brings. Owen uses the alliteration to provide an image of terror to describe the awful conditions of the war. He shows that while the civilians of the war think that it is a valiant way to die, while in reality, it is an awful death and the illusion that the old Lie creates is just a false face to try and grab more innocent civilian men into the war. Owen also describes this scene of death to allow for an insight into the real feeling of war, so that one might feel the loss of breath or the feeling of dying. Lastly, Owen uses alliteration to illustrate the evil of war, and the contrast to the old Lie. Like the previous example, Owen portrays the evil of war by using alliteration to exemplify his point. The feeling of death describes itself in the line of “a devil’s sick of sin” (20). He is still in the same place of the cusp of death, and this furthers the feeling of death. The use of alliteration proves that Owen wants to provide contrast to the old Lie by employing visual imagery. Visual imagery manifests itself in the line by showing not only the face of a devil, but the image of a devil that is sick of sin. This means that a devil wants to leave hell, but in this case, it is referring to a soldier who realizes his errors on the battlefield, like killing innocent men for no reason, and he obviously wants to try and leave the battlefield or trench. So, Owen compares the battlefield to a place of no escape or a hell. Next, Owen uses the alliteration in the harsh ‘s’ sound of “sick” and “sin” to provide the auditory imagery of evil. In conclusion, Owen uses alliteration to show that the old Lie that many people believe to be true, but is actually deceitful. Owen choses the alliteration to provide the evidence that war is actually much like hell in many ways: there is no escape from it, many sins are committed on the battlefield, and it makes monsters out of men. He also uses this to show that the idea of war may seem patriotic in hindsight, but in reality, it is a place of death and destruction, which can be both physically and mentally.
Next, the author uses simile to describe the horrors of war, in strong opposition to the old Lie. First, he uses a description of the soldier’s uniforms to disprove the wonderful nature of serving in the war. In the beginning of the poem, Owen describes the appearance of the soldiers as looking “like old beggars under sacks” (1). The use of simile by Owen portrays the brightest and bravest soldiers as old men that are filthy. When he uses the simile, he reinforces the idea that soldiers are without much hope and don’t have much ambition to keep fighting. He also wants to show that the soldiers are not what they appear to be in hindsight. The soldiers are supposed to be in neat, new uniforms like the old Lie presents. In reality, the soldiers are beaten down and the simile reinforces the idea of the opposition to the Lie. Owen uses the simile to show that soldiers are really not all that they appear when the government tries to hook young men into joining the war effort. He tries to disprove the statement that it is sweet and proper to die for your country. Like he shows here, the war beats soldiers down and destroys their minds, thus giving the appearance of old beggars under sacks. He just uses the simile to reinforce the robust contrast. In conclusion, Owen uses the repetition of the ‘s’ sound to represent the evil nature of war and the effects of it on soldiers. After a gas attack, the soldiers confuse easily, and fumble around for their helmets, just in time for the gas to roll around. Although, one soldier does not get his gas mask on in time. He is caught out in the gas and feels the full effects of the horrid substance. Owen describes it as it happens and the soldier is “flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…” (12). As the soldier struggles for his life, the simile that Owen uses emphasizes the horrors of war. Lime is a dry chemical compound that can burn through flesh like fire. Owen uses it to show that the soldier, who is without a gas mask, or it is broken, is being hit massively with the pain of his flesh burning off as he writhes around on the ground. This simile shows that the horrors of the war are reality, and that it is not sweet or proper to die in war, it is quite the opposite. Owen also employs the visual imagery of the soldier struggling for his life in the short time that he is breathing in the gas. Finally, Owen uses the simile to reinforce the idea that war is not a sweet or proper place to die for the country that the soldier serves for. In contrast, he explains that war is a horrible place, and that the depiction of war is often wrong because it is actually a place of total destruction like seen with the vivid image of a soldier dying because his skin was burning due to lime. In conclusion, Wilfred Owen uses alliteration and simile to prove the old Lie wrong, and show that war is not a good place to die and that it is often a painful death.