In the poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" how does the poet describe the gas attack?
The poet, Wilfred Owen, emphasizes the sudden nature of the gas attack, and the confusion, the "ecstasy of fumbling," that follows. Most of the men get their gas masks on in time, but one poor soldier could not, and the horrific scene that follows is both gripping and horrifying. Owen describes how the unlucky man begins to writhe around as if in "fire or lime," and says he appears to be drowning. The man staggers toward his helpless comrades, who are forced to watch him "guttering, choking, drowning" after breathing in the poisonous gas. As the body of the dying man is thrown unceremoniously on a cart to be borne away from the field, Owen observes that if people back home could have seen this scene, they would no longer claim there was anything glorious about dying in war. So Owen uses the gas attack to illustrate the horrors of war.