reality and fancy Owen's poetry before war was romantic yet it changed after his experience through it, how can one distinguish truly between what belongs to fancy and what belongs to reality?

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I think that this question cannot be answered in a universal manner. For some, reality and fancy simply cross too many times in ones life for a specific distinction to be made. Realistically, what is wrong with fancy paralleling reality?

That being said, sometimes we need to believe in fancy in order to stay grounded in reality.

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Owen is one of those unfortunate men who have lost the fantasies in the reality of war.  Dulce et Decorum Est shows us how this happens to soldiers.  I think it is fairly easy to distinguish between fantasy and reality, especially in this poem.  Owen's earlier works deal with a more idealistic, naive view.  His later poems show the harsh truth of life during a time of war.  Although after seeing such atrocities, perhaps even his later views are tainted by an unrealistic darkness.  Maybe the real reality is somewhere in the middle.

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You are right to point towards the way in which Owen's poetry was fundamentally changed by his experiences of war. Certainly the poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" is a perfect example of this and how it operated. This poem focuses on realism rather than Romanticism, and the naive fantasies of young men believing that it was noble to fight in battle are brutally eviscerated through his sparse poetry and realistic descriptions.

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