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Can you give me a critical analysis of the poem "The Owl" by Thomas Edward?

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rokhana | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2009 at 11:47 PM via web

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Can you give me a critical analysis of the poem "The Owl" by Thomas Edward?

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted November 6, 2009 at 3:00 AM (Answer #1)

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Edward Thomas's poem The Owl tells the story of a soldier who escapes from the battlefield, leaving his fellow-soldiers struggling with veritable death. After the tiresome journey down the hill, he is hungry, exhausted and cold in the freezing winter night and decides to have food, fire and rest at an inn. He enters the snug private place of comfort, completely cut off from the outer world, barring one haunting link that remains--the sad hooting of an owl that rends the nocturnal silence and enters his escapist private space to make it bristle with guilt-complex, irony and the painful misery of the suffering humanity. It turns his food tasteless; too salty to take as he feels the pang for leaving his friends exposed to mortal danger, enjoying all the comforts all alone. The pathetic cry of the owl was like an epiphanic voice that purged him through an arousal of sensitivity and repentance. He was 'sobred' and humbled by the experience.

So, as the analysis implies, the poem is about escapism-battle binary, human suffering, the moral responsibility of man, the inhumanity of the warfare, the pathos of the class-divided society, the inescapability of reality and so on.

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