futility n.
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Futility. Wilfred Owen. Futility (noun) pointlessness – a lack of usefulness or effectiveness pointless action - an action that has no use, purpose or effect. The story of the poem. Written in 1918. About this time Owen categorised his poems, FUTILITY coming under the heading "Grief".

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futility

Futility

Wilfred Owen

slide3
Futility (noun)
  • pointlessness – a lack of usefulness or effectiveness
  • pointless action - an action that has no use, purpose or effect
the story of the poem
The story of the poem
  • Written in 1918. About this time Owen categorised his poems, FUTILITY coming under the heading "Grief".
  • The front line on a bright winter morning. A soldier has recently died though we don't know precisely how or when. Owen appears to have known him and something of his background.
  • He ponders nature's power to create life, setting it against the futility of death.
  • The problem Owen faces in Futility is how to reconcile the miracle of creation with the evil of death and waste.
  • Owen wonders ‘what is the point?’…
quotes this shows
Quotes + this shows…
  • The sun is personified throughout the poem – select lines where this happens. (C)
meaning and structure a
Meaning and Structure (A)
  • What does the final line of the poem suggest?
  • The poem has three rhetorical questions at the end. Why?
  • Why did Owen write this poem?
the poem makes us think about
The poem makes us think about…
  • Life – how it is created
  • Nature – how the sun creates all life on earth
  • Death – how it ultimately makes life futile