Analysis of Arms and the Boy

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  2. To the Little Polish Boy Standing with His Arms Up: Poetry Analysis
  3. Realism in Arms and the Man
  4. Arms and the Boy

Indeed, the bullets just kill whoever they see - they have no target, or even any mercy. They are symbols of inhumanity and violence, and the by making this link, the poet instill in us the idea that war is violent and inhumane. War is also meaningless - we were made to live in peace, yet now in this war where humans fight each other, even young boys lose their innocence, and turn into madman obsessed with weapons of destruction.

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It may seem impossible, yet actually not difficult to empathize with the young boy in the poem. In a war, death is such a common thing, that the young boy is already numbed with these images and scenes. In fact, he is obsessed with weapons of destructions precisely because in a war, the only way one can defend his own life is to kill others. The last two lines of the poem really do conclude my analysis. Life is created to live, work and play in peace, especially when we are young, we should play and live in innocence and harmony.

However, this poem depicts a true but harsh reality of what war is like - soldiers have to constantly fight for their lives and even young boys are being conscripted into war, where they have to carry weapons of murder at such a young age and see images of death, blood and murder everywhere. Such traumatizing scenes has totally changed them into madmen who love their weapons, because its the only thing that can make them survive. This poem has succeeded in making us sympathizing with young boy and his plight. Indeed, war is so cruel and inhumane. Someone killed Jonah at PM.

Wilfred Owen's Life and Accomplishments

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To the Little Polish Boy Standing with His Arms Up: Poetry Analysis

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Angie's Recipe. Bluntness replaces sharpness, with sexual overtones.

Realism in Arms and the Man

To 'stroke' and 'nuzzle' seem to imply erotic pleasure in handling instruments of destruction. Stanza One's sharpness makes a return in line 8 but with a mental as well as physical connotation, alluding as it does to the 'grief and death' experienced by those who die and those who mourn - a stern reminder that what may begin as inappropriate self-indulgence will result inevitably in misery and extinction.

If Owen himself came into focus in line 8 he remains in view in the last stanza with his reminder of what this boy, who is being led towards militancy, in essence, ideally, is. Nature, including the human variety dominates the picture. Teeth are not for forming part of a cartridge but for 'laughing round an apple' 9.


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Fingers that caressed the bayonet-blade are simply 'supple' and no claws lurk behind them. The boy's 'thick curls' speak of youthful innocence. No use leaving it to God then? So complain the prophets of war, whose aim is to arm this boy and other boys.


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At the same time the poem's other voices, those of the preachers of peace, they rejoice. Unless, that is, we believe Owen capable of the sort of irony that most of us would think inappropriate. Our website makes use of cookies.

Arms and the Boy

To find out more please read our privacy policy. Home Contact Us Search. One poem I have written there; and thought another And in the same letter, Johnny de la Touche whom he had tutored in Bordeaux leaves school this term, I hear, and goes to prepare for the Indian Army. Cynically he added, God so hated the world that He gave several millions of English-begotten sons, that whosoever believeth in them should not perish, but have a comfortable life.

Stanza 1 Let the boy try along this bayonet-blade 1 Command? Not Owen himself, we judge, but Owen on behalf of those who would initiate children into - Shooting, war, hunting, all the arts of hurting as he had already written again, in another's voice in A TERRE.


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Personification makes weapons diabolical as well as lethal. Again, Blue with all malice, like a madman's flash 3 'Blue' as in the coldness of steel? And thinly drawn with famishing for flesh 4 Such a desire for sustenance finds common cause with revolutionary France's Madame Guillotine and her voracious appetite. Stanza 2 In contrast is more sensuous.