Futility Analysis

The poem “Futility” is a war time poem written by Wilfred Owen in 1914, and is one of the first and most famous war poems ever written. It is therefore a very traditional war poem that is centered around the harsh feelings that are unraveled by the horror of war, such as grief and hopelessness. The poem is very raw, which is demonstrated by the narrator dwelling on the sun, crop fields, flowers, snow and the earth. This sense of rawness awakened in “Futility” is very common of a war poem, “Futility” has no decoration yet has an enormous amount of context that surrounds it.

Futility’s narrative is the narrator expressing grief that the sun can not wake up a dead soldier, having done that for all of his life, both at home and in France.  Owen is despairing with the sun, despite the exuberating power and heat it beholds, the sun can still not wake up one man lying down facing towards it. Wilfred Owen is expressing his anger and despair with war by indicating that it even destroys the sun’s powers.

Futility evokes feelings of anger and regret within me, because I feel like war has been glorified as the allies won it, however reading poems like this is very humbling and reminds me that, for the soldiers, war was pretty much the same no matter what side you were on.