They no longer are phased by the bones that they walk all over of their fellow comrades, they fail to show empathy for those around them and they cannot even bring homeless to make Jokes to try and lift the spirits of themselves and their friends. This is all a result of being exposed to the front line for so long. At first, we are baffled at this statement made by Owen, simply because In other poems, he tries to portray a sense of compassion towards those that die at War. The attitude that Is conveyed In Apologia Pro pomade and Dulcet Et Decorum Est In particular Is one of disappointment at the public for not showing enough sympathy.
In Apologia, Owen even redefines beauty as the bonds that are formed in confined environments like hose at War. Therefore, in terms of this form of insensitiveness Owen opposes his usual messages in Insensibility. In the middle of the first stanza, Owen makes a bold statement, a lone sentence; “The front line withers. “, implying that it resembles flowers shrilling and dying. He then brings us back to reality and reminds us that the truth Is not flowers that are dying, but real men. He goes against the poetic click© of the men being compared to flowers, and strongly focuses on actuality.
This could be where Owen first addresses the topic of Imagination In his poem. HIS unwillingness to promote men as metaphoric resemblances to flowers could be an example of how he thought imagination to be pathetic. However, the idea of one being better off without it is not really evident in this stanza because by highlighting the reality of men dying, he is causing no Joy but more upset if anything. The third stanza opens with “Happy are those who lose imagination”; the same type of opening sentence as the others.
Here, Owen creates the image of men who have been weakened to the state where they have been reduced to robot like creatures, only carrying out their duties, having lost the ability to think for themselves. This insensibility Is extended to the point where they do not even feel pain as their wounds “can not more ache”. Being surrounded by the red of blood has no affect on them any longer as they have become so used to It. “Their eyes are rid” of all the pain around them and they do not contemplate It to be anything out of the ordinary.
I nose men nave Eden Don unearned Ana weakened to ten pilot winner teen can even “laugh [at] the dying”. With this, Owen is saying that these reduced men and owe numb to their surroundings and happenings; as they are numb, they are able to withstand the pain and not be affected by it. In the environment of war, where happiness ceases to exist, the next best thing to feel, is nothing. When you feel nothing, you do not feel pain or fear and so one could interpret this lack of sadness, as happiness. However, it is only really in the first part of the stanza that Owen conveys this message where imagination is a burden to the soldiers.
The idea of men who are emotionless and have no imagination is no more appealing than the image f corpses and so Owens message could be more complex than the one of soldiers being better off without imagination. It could agree that being numb is less damaging than being vulnerable but it also builds up the image of these men acting like zombies. It treats imagination like something that can cause unbearable pain, but something that we all should have as humans. The fourth stanza elaborates on the message that is created in the first three.
It mentions the innocent men who would sing along while marching unaware of what lies ahead. In comparison to those are the men who have been trained and have to make decisions rather than to simply follow orders. Their naivety is almost something to new and so in this case, lack of knowledge and imagination is something that is a form of protection against harsh reality. It could be construed that Owen does actually new those who do not suffer from the troubled thoughts that he does but who instead have no imagination.
However, in the last stanza, Owen criticizes this same insensitivity to surroundings and War on the home front. He describes these men as “stones” because of their lack of emotion and feeling for the men suffering. He may even be cursing them with death as stones could be taken as tombstones. Owens greatest condemnation of those on the home front is that unlike the soldiers, it was “by choice they made themselves immune” and so it was their conscious decision to pay no attention to the countless number of losses at War.
In this case, he despises those who do not have, or choose not to have the moral capacity to empathic and use their minds to help. The irregularity of the poem takes the attention away from the structure and sheds more light onto what Owen actually wants to be read. The use of paraphrase works in the same way; words such as “shilling” and “shelling”, and “rid and red” bring the focus more onto the meaning of his words rather than the sound of them. In many of his poems, Owen addresses this criticism of the home front being ignorant by choice to the suffering at War which include Dulcet et Decorum Est and Apologia Pro Pomade Memo.