“The Prologue: Colour imagery”

White pages 7-9

In these pages white represents the colour of snow that was falling. In these pages white shows how cold it is on the train and outside as the whole area is covered by white snow. In this part of the text the white is creating and atmosphere of despair as Lieslel’s brother has died on the train. The white colour also represents the exposure that she feel outside when her brother is being buried in the snow.  “Tears were frozen to the book thief’s face” was a quote in the book which represents the cold that she feels, the sadness that she has from her brothers death and the white colour cause by the cold. The colours make me think of a cold winters day. When you are exposed to the cold and the feeling of being wrapped up in scarfs and beanies and warm jackets.

Black pages 10-12

Black the colour I believe represents darkness and death. In this part of the text black is representing the darkness and horror of death when it arrives to early. I understand this to mean that sometimes people die at a very young age before they should due to sad circumstances. In this story this happens to Liseils brother as he dies very young.   ” It was the darkest moment before dawn” This is one quote from the text which represents the colour black as the day is at its darkest. When all is gloomy and depressing which can be compared to the colour black. In this part of the text the atmosphere that is created is sadness and horror as death kills Liesel’s brother and some heroic people who died before their time. The events that occur in these two pages are sad and heartbreaking which is a good representation of what the colour black can be referred too. When everything is dark most things feel scarier which helps me to understand that black is almost an evil creepy colour.  The colour black makes me think of really dark nights when you are scared and alone. It makes me think of all the creepy bugs and nasty things that could be out there. It also makes me think of depression when people feel consumed by darkness with no way out. The depression can be caused by sadness. This means that sadness can also be represented by the colour of black.

Red 13-15

Red in these pages of the book represent the colour of blood caused by bombs and injury as well as the colour of the sky from explosion. Red in the pages 13-15 also show the bombings happening and the catastrophic events taking place like the planes fighting and the continuous fires from bombings on houses. This colour gives a feeling of anger between some and the feeling that there is an emergency. When I personally think of this colour I think of furiousness or anger, or even sometimes racing for example in this case racing to the underground basements do give these innocent families a slight chance of surviving as this is exactly what the scene is setting. “the sky was like soup, boiling and stirring.” I believe this references to Liesel’s emotions as she has just experienced something catastrophic, which is pathetic fallacy. Rage is going to impact Liesel throughout the text and it shows that she might experience a lot of this redness of rage around her throughout the book.  “The streets were ruptured veins,” Death describes the street as a vein itself burst and destroyed by the bombs, bleeding rubble.  

2) Red is part of the Nazi flag; this means that it hangs like a moving cloud of death over the war. The flag is represented in the 3 colours red, black and white. Through out the text we learn that white represents death and cold, black represents death, depression and horror, Red represents blood, anxiety and anger. Throughout the text Lesiel experiences all of these emotions due to her family members dying and the cold of winter as well as anxiety and anger from war. Her brother dies and she is left in the cold of white. She experiences a lot of blackness through depression from death, Horror through seeing many family members die and disappear. She experiences red through the anger of war and the blood that has been spilled due to Hitler. 


3)  Extended examples of the colour black throughout the text

In one area of the text Rudy paints himself black with charcoal. This occurs in pages 58-63. Rudy decides to paint himself black with charcoal because he has an idol , Jesse Owens the Olympic medal winner. Rudy wants to be like Jesse so he feels in order to go and run fast around the track he needs to paint himself the same colour. Rudy gets in extreme trouble with his father for doing this, he drags him home and scrubs him raw. The black in this area of the text represents peoples judgement. Rudy believes the colour black will cause him to be a fast runner and maybe go to the Olympics. Rudy’s father hated the colour black on Rudy as it made him unsafe as if the Nazi party were to catch him they would take him away. Black is representing the the attitude that people have to colour diversity and the hatred the Nazi Germans had for black people. ” You shouldn’t want to be black people or Jewish people. This showed me that black could cause someone to be taken away.  Black gave the idea that it was a colour that causes trouble and anger in people. The Nazis had a lot of anger towards mixed race people so therefore it caused Rudys dad to have anger at Rudy for wanting to be the colour black. This could be because he doesn’t want his son to be taken away due to black.


White: description of the Mayor’s wife, Frau Hermann

“Chalky hand and wrist…she reached out, cold-fingered….long, light eyelashes.” p.144 

The colour reference of white in this area of text shows us the whiteness within someone. The Mayors wife had chalky coloured wrists and the description of cold is used with her hands which gives us an example of white as well. When we think of white the image of snow and ice which is cold come into head so he hands must be really deathly cold. Her eye lashes are light which could be another description of white as it is often described as a light colour.


Throughout the text red is a colour related to the rise of naziisem in Germany and is often seen in scenes of immense grief and anger. When Liesel’s brother dies he heart was “slippery and hot” and gives the reader of a bright red heart beating faster and faster. Red could describe liesel’s burning anger towards Hitler, when Hans tells her that he could take them away and her. Red is also used by death to describe the day when liesel’s home and loved ones were torn from her, as the streets were like ruptured veins which would leak dark red blood across the road. It shows how devastated and destroyed Liesel’s life is as the bright hopeful fire in her heart has burnt out and the red is now spilt all around her, in the sky and in the ground beneath her feet. This could also reflect the blood of Germany that day as they know they have lost to the bombs of the allies. The colour red also quite obviously appears when blood is shed, at the end of the book after liesel’s town was bombed, blood of her loved ones flooded the street, evidently death saw boiling thick red skies everywhere 

“You see, people may tell you that Nazi Germany was built on anti-Semitism, a somewhat over-zealous leader and a nation of hate-fed bigots, but it would all have come to nothing had the Germans not loved one particular activity – to burn. The Germans loved to burn things. Shops, synagogues, Reichstags, houses, personal items, slain people and, of course books.” p. 90 

This gives us the imagery of red due to the burning. This gives the impression of anger as burning red can be associated with torches and riots when things are lit of fire due to anger. The burning is due to the hatred towards the Jews and so they burn there shops and belongings which represents the colour red.

Second book response

Second book response  

Sophie Pascoe

Published by Tony Smith


“Stroke of fate”  


“ I believe I can be an inspiration to the challenges that athletes face rather than the disability” This is a quote in the Novel “ Stroke of fate” spoken by the inspiring Sophie Pascoe. “Stroke of fate” written by Tony Smith is a novel about the life of 9 time Paralympic champion Sophie Pascoe. The biography shows the bravery and determination of Sophie Pascoe as she learns to cope with one leg from the age of 2. This story is a book that all New Zealand teenagers should read to develop some respect for our athletes courage. Throughout the story Sophie’s life is told from when she loses her left leg to when she wins her first gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. Struggling throughout her journey, Sophie shows the reader how hard work and determination is rewarding when she starts to become world champion.

Pascoes life gives an inspirational message to athletes all across the globe. When Sophie was just 2 years of age her father accidentally ran her over in the lawn mower which resulted in both her legs being cut up in the blades. Her left leg had to be amputated and her right leg was left with severe scarring. From the beginning Sophie shows us as readers that losing a leg was not going to stop her from achieving her dreams. She started swimming competitively when she was just 7 years of age. ” From the moment I won my first race I was hooked” This is a statement that Sophie says in her book as she fell in love with swimming after her first race. She was instantly attracted to the feeling of winning. In the novel she shows the reader’s how she is inspiring. When Sophie starts her new school she has to compete in swimming sports, every day prior to this no one at school had seen Sophie’s missing leg. Sophie does swimming sports in front of the whole school beating the able bodied swimmers. This shows the school that just because she is missing a leg doesn’t mean she is any worse at swimming than they are. This part of the story inspired me as when Sophie first started at the school she wore long pants so people didn’t see her impairment. She then decides that people will have to respect her for the way that she is and gets in her togs and does swimming sports this helps to develop her sense of self pride by competing. This part of the story made me feel really motivated and try my best in all areas of my sports that I compete in. It made me feel privileged to be able to compete in fully able bodied sports without anybody passing judgement about what I look like. I think it is inspiring to me that Sophie was willing to put herself out there and fail in front of a whole school in order to prove the point that she can be successful. I felt that I need to be braver in my sport when reading this, as I need to not worry about failing but put my self out there in order to win.  

Another part of the story which was inspiring to me was when Sophie was still a child she knew she wanted to be a Paralympian. When she was around the age of 10 her grandfather passed away to whom she was very close with. The night before he passes away she makes a vow to him to win a gold medal. I think this part of the story is inspirational as she shows that she is determined from a very young age to become a Paralympic Champion. She won her first Paralympic gold medal at the Beijing Olympics and dedicated it to her grandpa. “When the NZ anthem came on I knew he was looking down on me” When she won the medal Sophie felt the presence of her grandfather looking down on her as she stood on the podium with the NZ anthem playing.I felt a lot of respect for Sophie as when depressing times like her grandfathers death could have resulted in her giving up but instead she pushed on making a positive out of the situation showing her mental strength. I think Sophie is mentally strong because she is able to block out emotions and focus on her drive to succeed in swimming. 

One part of the book that made me respect Sophie Pascoe was that she holds no resentment against her father as he was the one who ran her over in the lawn mower. When Sophie’s father ran her over it was by complete accident, her father did everything he could to get Sophie to the hospital and healthy again. Sophie understood this from a child and holds no grudge or anger against her father. In the novel she even goes to say that maybe it was fate or she wouldn’t be doing the things she’s doing now. Her father was much more traumatized by the incident than Sophie was as he says “It still haunts me today”. She has changed a negative situation into a positive situation which made me respect Sophie’s personality to always look on the bright side of life. It would be easy for her to have resentment and think that her father had ruined her life from a young age. Instead she has chosen to take the positive outlook about her incident and embrace the fact that she can compete in the Paralympic games and inspire other disabled and able bodied athletes. This area of the text made me feel humbled by Sophie’s continuous bravery and determination because she had many hardships happen at such a young age including her losing her leg and the grandfather she was so close with. I felt very lucky to have had such a easy start to my life with very little hiccups. It made me contrast with the Michael Phelps book “Beneath the surface” and his start to life as a swimmer. Michael Phelps parents paid for personal coaching and looked after him very well and he had no hardships as a kid. But in Michael Phelps Novel he continually complains to his coach and is rude to his parents about how hard is life is. When comparing these texts it made me feel frustrated that someone so humble as Sophie Pascoe has such little recognition compared to Michael Phelps when she is so much more deserving due to her great attitude.  

Throughout most of the Novel I was very humbled by Sophie pascoes modesty and determination for success. However towards the end of the biography one idea brought me to think that her journey to the Paralympics was slightly selfish. I felt some disrespect to all athletes when reading her life story due to the hardship and amount of pressure that is put on a professional athletes family. From a young age Sophie competes in many swimming events and training which costs her family a lot of money. They are constantly having to pay for her coaches fees, her competition fees and her training equipment. This could put a lot of financial stress on a family for the desires of one person. When Sophie starts to do well at her swimming she begins to start travelling overseas which has to be paid for from her parents. International travel is very expensive so Sophie’s parents have even larger financial stress on them whereas the money could have been used for the whole family to go overseas on holidays. Therefore I believe that all international athletes have to be selfish to put such a financial burden on there families. 

Another reason I developed the opinion that being a international athlete is selfish was how Sophie constantly needed emotional support from her parents when she was having a hard day’s training. When she thought that she didn’t want to swim or that she would never be good enough to win her parents were always by her side encouraging her to keep trying. This would have been emotionally hard on her parents as they had to believe in Sophie that she was gonna make it to the Paralympics and that she was good enough to win. I felt that Sophie would have had to be slightly selfish to be so demanding on her parents. I could relate to this area of the story as I compete at mountain biking events across the country and my family has to pay for my travel. I feel selfish to have to spend so much money to get the enjoyment from competing and doing well. This part of the novel also helped me to develop the idea that Sophie was very lucky to have a supporting family. If She had come from a very poor family which had issues such as divorce or struggle she wouldn’t have been able to compete. When I put myself in Sophie’s shoes I believed she was a privileged child based on the support she had not only from her parents but her grandparents, friends and school. In one area of the book Sophie goes to Beijing to compete in the Paralympics. Her school helps her to fund raise for her travel and when she returns the held a celebration for her and gave her gifts on stage. I felt that she was almost spoilt for the amount of people supporting her. I felt that as a teenager living in a first world country I can relate to being very spoilt for support with my parents encouragement to compete in all my sporting events and my friends embracing my successes with me.  

One Message the Sophie tried to convey through her book was that she didn’t want to be treated as a disabled athlete. Sophie wanted to be treated as a professional athlete and compared with all able bodied athletes This gave me a sense of empowerment when reading her Novel. At the beginning of the text Sophie was nominated for Sports women of the year. This was a big achievement for a disabled athlete to be nominated against able bodied sportsman’s. In her story she talks about how proud she was of this nomination and that she was happy to be compared with all athletes. ” I felt respected and congratulated to be nominated against all NZ athletes” was one remark she had when discussing her nomination. Then two years after this nomination she wins disabled sportswoman of the year. Sophie becomes very disappointed and hurt to not be compared with all athletes. She feels it is unnecessary to have her own category of a disabled athlete and she felt that it demoralized her being an athlete. I agreed with how Sophie felt being categorized as a disabled athlete and not just an athlete. I thought that it was unfair that she should be treated any different to anybody else as her achievements are the same and deserve to be respected. This made me compare to issues we have today as we don’t want to categorize people by ethnicity and rather just as people. If we separated awards for African, Asian and European people this would be racist and hurt full to each race, so why should it be any different for disabled and non disabled athlete? .

I believe Sophie Pascoe does an amazing job with her writer Tony Smith to create a Novel which show the true hardship and success that Sophie has had so far in her sports career. It is a very precious story that New Zealanders need to read so that we can understand how hard it is for one of our own athletes to compete. I think it would be a great Novel for teenagers to read to develop a sense of respect for our disabled athletes. They can learn that disabled athletes are as inspirational as any able bodied athlete. The novel is well written and gives a great understanding of what someone disabled may go through growing up.

Personal response 1 ” To the Summit”

To the Summit

Written by Nick Allen

Published by Massey University press in 2016


“To the Summit” is a novel that shows pure determination as well as physical and mental strength that all teenagers and adults can respect. The biography of Nick Allen tells his true life story of a strong young adult destined to push his physical limits in the outdoors. Nick then becomes wheelchair bound as he develops a severe case of Multiple Sclerosis which not only affects his everyday physical movement but becomes a mental challenge for him to overcome.  Nick is continually knocked back by his disease which causes him to have many mental battles in his mind on why he should continue to live if he can’t do what he loves.


The story is very emotional and heartfelt. As the reader it helped me to understand the restrictions that a disease can have on you not only physically but also mentally when you feel that nothing will ever be the same. Nick was a very fit individual in his youth biking up to 50 km in a day as well as competing in many different events. When he develops Multiple Sclerosis he struggles to even walk between classes at university.  The idea of restriction is portrayed throughout the text as Nick struggles to cope with everyday movements. When Nick was younger these movements didn’t feel like a privilege, but once developing the disease something as simple as walking up 10 stairs feels like a massive accomplishment. At one point in the story Nick is late for a class but is restricted to making it on time as he says “I knew I could not run for more than a few meters”. I understand that being two minutes for a class was a major problem for Nick and someone with Multiple Sclerosis as the physical demand of having to be rushed into running could cause their body to collapse with fatigue. I think the story developed the idea of restriction strongly throughout the text and I imagined how it would impact my everyday activities. If I had Multiple Sclerosis riding my bike to get to school would not be possible as it would cause so much fatigue that I wouldn’t be able to cope with doing school work after.  Also Multiple Sclerosis would prevent me from able to train for my sport as it would be too physically taxing for me to cope with anything else in my day. 


This story made me think how privileged normal functioning humans are. When Nick starts to accept that he is going to have to live with Multiple Sclerosis he is determined to try climbing mountains and become physically fit again. He continually goes to the gym most days working tirelessly to  make the smallest improvement. Many times he is knocked back and must rest for a week from pushing himself to achieve his goals. “My previous experience of gyms was not overly positive but knowing that it would help me to achieve my goals gave me a sense of drive” Nick was initially frightened of the idea of going to the gym knowing the negative impacts it could have on him. I respected the way he put these fears aside in order to  achieve his goals knowing he could fail. This part of the story reminded me of the novel “Wonder” by R.J Palacio. This novel is about a young boy called Auggie with a facial disorder which makes him feel abnormal and unable to go out in public. Like Nick, Auggie has a strong drive to conquer his fears. He doesn’t care what other people think of what he is capable of and goes out and achieves his goals by joining a public school. I think this part of the novel highlights when things go wrong in our lives we think  it is such a massive deal and nobody else has ever dealt with such a tough problem. But in reality there will always be someone worse off than you and we should enjoy and celebrate what we can do.  I felt inspired to try new experiences such as joining a new sports team. It helped me realise it doesn’t matter what other people think of you so long as you try your best because you never know what you may be good at till you try. 


I was able to see that Nick was a slightly privileged individual with the support he had from his family and the media. I feel Nicks’ parents were  supportive of him, encouraging and funding him to overcome the challenges he faced. I can see he was lucky as he had support from others. Nicks parents not only paid for him to have mobility scooter but also were there to pick him up when he was too fatigued to drive home. They were constantly on hand for him to call on when he was feeling down. “ Dad had driven me to the scooter shop I could not handle driving in heavy Auckland traffic anymore. Nick is of NZ European descent, his family had enough money to be able to support the disease and the restrictions it had on Nick. This helped him be mobile and experience a semi-normal life.

It made me consider how someone from a poor background, in a third world country, with no family support could have coped developing Multiple Sclerosis. IThey would have faced even more challenges than Nick and would have struggled to achieve such high goals as he did. This made me question my own background as I am a privileged individual and supported by my family. If I was unlucky and developed such a restrictive disease I would have the support to help me through, but many individuals would not.

I have a strong sense of respect for Nick because he overcomes the mental battle of developing Multiple Sclerosis. He manages to get fitter and mobile in his everyday life. Nick sets a goal for himself to climb Island Peak at an assent of 6,189 m. He achieves it  in four and a half hours, 3 hours faster than the average time.

I respected Nick as he went from being a fit young adult to being wheelchair bound. He develops a strong drive to overcome this disease. The message that is repeated throughout the text is that you can do anything. Nick shows us that nothing is too hard to prevent you from achieving goals. Even if you have to modify or develop new goals. With a bit of hard work and determination which is shown in this novel you can achieve what you put your mind too. I felt overjoyed at Nick’s success as he battled so hard to climb so many mountains. He thought about giving up many times but continued to push on. This determination gave me a sense of pride and made me realise people who have massive restrictions can motivate themselves to accomplish amazing achievements. 


One idea that I found disturbing was the depression that Nick developed when he thought he could never live a happy life again. At one point Nick tries to commit suicide by almost crashing his car into a power pole but he manages to control his mind and pulls the car to safety. This made me feel very sad for Nick and anyone else coping with a disease that restricts their lifestyle as he couldn’t see the point in living any longer so why continue to go on. I thought he showed a strong sense of diligence to be able to look past the restrictions that he had and continue battling to accomplish his goals as well as show the world that anyone can overcome multiple sclerosis. In this scene where Nick is willing to take his life it taught me that it is important to ask for support and help when you need it. Nick was trying to cope with his mental battle with the disease on his own. This caused him to think that there was no way out other than through death but in reality when he asked for support from others around him they were willing to help work through the mental and physical challenges that Nick faced. I thought that many people in the 21st century could relate to this as we try to balance all of our own problems such as money, relationships and sports. I believe that many people are too scared to ask for support in case they get judged for it. For society to keep a healthy balanced life people need to get support when they need it. Somethings such as diseases and relationship problems can’t be dealt with on their own and could easily be fixed with some professional help. 


I think that Nick did an amazing job telling his achievements through the Novel “To the Summit” it was captivating and made me really appreciate what I have in my everyday life. I would definitely recommend reading this novel as I feel everyone can learn something from it and develop some type of motivation to get out there and achieve their own goals.

2.4 Willfred Owen Essay task


“And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall, By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell” This quote spoken by Wilfred Owen shows his true thoughts on the war that it is a tough experience and scars men for life. In the texts “Anthem for doomed youth” and “Exposure” written by Wilfred Owen language features are presented to us relating back to the tough experiences that the men have and the scars that are left from war. Rhetorical questions are used in both the poems which showing that the soldiers are resistant to the experiences of war.  Personification portrays the idea that the men experienced mental and physical toughness.

The two poems “Exposure” and “Anthem for doomed youth” use rhetorical questions to portray the idea that the soldiers are resistant to the experiences of war. In Exposure the rhetorical question used to show the soldiers resistance is the question” What are we doing here?” helping us to understand the way the soldiers are feeling as they live through the exposure and cold of the war. They are asking themselves why did they join the army and for what reason are they putting themselves through this. Giving a sense of depression that the men feel as they struggle to survive through each night. Making us feel bad for the men and their hardship through war. As the reader I understood the idea of resistance when the Wilfred questioned why he joined the war and  considered the other places he would much rather be for example at home with his family.  Reading the poem gave me a sense of sorrow towards the soldiers knowing how easy my life has been in comparison to them. As a 21st century teenager I have the luxuries of warm food, a family, education, the chance to compete in sports and my own house which is warm. The soldiers only had each other and a small amount of food and clothing to keep them warm. Our life in comparison is very easy compared to the hardships of being a solider.

A rhetorical question used in the poem “Anthem for doomed youth” is “What passing bells for these who die as cattle?” After reading this line it gave the impression of resistance from the soldiers because the men feel reluctant to fight for their country as they are being treated as no more than beasts. Wilfred is open to how he feels about the way the men are treated once they die as their bravery and life is shown by the ringing of a bell which he believes is not enough to represent a life. The constant ringing of a bell every time a soldier dies is treating them like a number/cattle in which they all just die and then a small amount of respect is paid by a bell and then they are forgotten. When reading the poem author’s personal experience in war is portrayed as he is upset that so many of his friends and fellow war mates bravery is not respected enough. He believes it cannot be supported by the ringing of a church bell as the cycle will continue to happen as one dies they are replaced by another soldier only to have the same fate.  Showing the events taken place, as the men die a bell is rung out even if they are left where they fell unknown to their families who can’t have their bodies returned. The men can’t see the point in trying so hard and putting themselves through the torture if all they receive is a bell for their bravery describing the feeling of resistance that they have to the experiences of war.

These two language techniques that Wilfred Owen has used interrelate to show the idea of the writers resistance in the war. It presents the question that the men ask themselves what use they are in this war. One question is asking the reader as to why they are fighting in the war (Exposure), and the other is questioning their existence and how they are being treated like cattle as they are flung aside (Anthem for doomed youth).  Wilfred Owen is trying to tell us about the way the soldiers have been treated in the war and how the author personally feels as if he is just treated as a number. He portrays to the reader that when the soldiers are alive they are questioning what they are doing and for what purpose must they push themselves through this torture of war as shown in the rhetorical question “What are we doing here”.  In the Rhetorical question “what passing bells for these who die as cattle” Wilfred Owen tells us that after all that the men have been through and questioning their worth in the war once they are killed they are treated like cattle as a number only to be replaced by another man who will receive the same fate and then to be forgotten. This helps me to realise Wilfred Owen didn’t feel respected enough for his efforts in the war as well as the men around him which caused him to have resistance in his mind when giving his all if it was not worth much. Even though he showed resistance in his mind he still continued to battle for his country.  This helped me to feel inspired and respect these men as even though they felt as in the end they were fighting for nothing as they knew they were going to die and be forgotten they continued to fight for their country. This also helped to shape my opinion of the war as I can relate to trying really hard in sports myself and when I do well I want to get the recognition I deserve but these men were putting their heart and soul into the war only to die be flung aside and then replaced. Also as the reader I could relate to the feeling of resistance as sometimes I feel resistant to have to go to sports practice but force myself to do so. I could understand how easy our life choices are as I am lucky to have the decision if I want to go to sports practice or not where as the soldiers didn’t have a choice to go to war or not. Going to a practice will never be life threatening to me and will never be as mentally, physically and emotionally taxing as war was on the soldiers. As a student in the 21st century these rhetorical questions  made me question how easy our lives are in comparison to the torture and struggle these men pushed themselves through and that we should all respect and remember them as the people who shaped the amazing lives we live today.


Another idea that Wilfred Owen tried to show in his poems through the experience of war was mental and physical toughness. He shows this in the two poems “Exposure” and “Anthem for doomed youth” using personification. Personification gives human qualities to non living things to help give a vivid description which makes the comparison relatable to humans.

In the “Anthem for doomed youth ”

“Choir of wailing shells” The personification is comparing human singing qualities to the sound of bomb shells. This language technique has been chosen to show that the sound of bomb shells ring out around the soldiers as they fight at war. Firstly it helps us as readers to understand that there is a constant noise to the soldiers ears as they fight. It gives off the idea that because a choir is normally loud when singing with a band it compares the bomb shells that are very loud to the soldiers and represent the only noises that they can really hear. It is a contradiction to  itself as a choir is something we usually go to watch for enjoyment and pleasure whereas in war it is compared to the bombs and gun shells that are constantly exploding around the soldiers which is not a good experience and is likely to make the men go deaf. This is not something the men are enjoying and more likely trying to get away from. Helping the reader to understand what it must be like to have something so loud constantly around them.

In exposure ” Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our faces” This language technique refers to the snow flakes which are falling from the cold sky are falling onto the men’s faces. The writer gives human qualities of snowflakes surprising the soldiers as they fall onto their faces which gives a sharp cold. Giving the reader a sense of how cold the atmosphere is for the men as it has to be below 0 degrees for snow flakes to be produced and the men have no shelter from the flakes which fall on their bare skin. It develops the image of something crawling and feeling ones face which helps us to also get the same sense of feeling the men have. As the reader it made me feel sorry for the men at war because not only are the suffering the battle between the enemy at war they are also exposed to the freezing elements which are brutally cold. Exposure could cause them to get hypothermia and even die as it is so extreme. The idea of toughness is shown as the men continue to fight through the terrible weather for the freedom of their country and the people.

These two Language techniques interrelate to one another as they both use personification to show the idea of how tough the war is on the men both physically and mentally. The Personification in the poem exposure develops an understanding of what the soldiers are experiencing physically as it’s so cold that snowflakes are falling all around them. The personification in the poem Anthem for doomed youth the sound of bomb shells and guns is affecting the men mentally as it is so loud that they can’t hear one another and is constantly going in their minds. As the reader these portray the theme that war is very tough for the men battling as it is damaging them as people. It is causing many of them to die due to the extreme cold and dangerous situations that they are put in but also is causing them to develop mental problems such as depression and anxiety due to the constant sounds and deaths happening around them. It made me develop the opinion that war is a terrible experience that all men should not have had to go through. Wilfred Owen helped the reader to understand that not only were the men being physically damaged in the war, but they are being mentally damaged by the constant deafening sounds and deaths around them.  This gives a sense of guilt because the soldiers had to go through such pain to give us the easy life we take for granted today.

In Conclusion the poems “Anthem for doomed youth” and “Exposure” written by Wilfred Owen use language techniques such as Rhetorical questions to portray the idea of the soldiers resistance to the experiences of war. Wilfred Owen uses personification to show the readers the idea that the soldiers experienced mental and physical toughness. Through the use of these language techniques as the reader it helped me to understand that war was a horrible experience for all the men involved as well as the families. Peoples experience left the scarred for life and we should appreciate the easy lives we have today as these men fought the wars for us.


Exposure- Wilfred Owen

Language techniques and their impact on Exposure by Wilfred Owen.


“we hear mad gusts tugging on the wire, like twitching agonies of men among brambles” This simile refers to the gusts of wind which are blowing and pulling on the barb wire fences surrounding the men. It compares this wind to men getting caught in brambles which are thick bushes with large spikes. These commonly get caught on clothes and skin pulling and trapping the men as they try to push through the brambles. This helps us to undersatnd how strong the wind is blowing into the men and the exposure they are open to. The wind is so strong it rips through the fences and hits the men at force and helps us to understand what it is like for the men as if the reader has experienced being caught in brambles/ blackberry bushes it is a struggle to get through.


” All their eyes are ice” This metaphor refers the men’s eyes and compares to them to ice. This helps us to understand that the men’s eyes are starting to glance over and become distant like a shiny piece of ice. The comparison tells us that they aren’t compared to being human anymore as they glaze over and start to lose feeling due to the cold and constant struggle of war.

” This frost will fasten on us” the metaphor tells us that the weather for the men at war is so cold that they will get surrounded and cover the men. This helps us to understand that the soldiers feel there is no escape from the exposure and cold and believe the frost will become part of them that night as it covers their skin and clothes as the temperatures drop. The first is described as a living thing which is gripping onto the men.


” Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army” this personification is used to describe the start of the day (dawn) which appears from the east. The language technique tells us that it is a sad dark morning as dawn is described as a sad army. This helps us to understand as readers that the dawn is not a bright sunny morning the soldiers were waiting for to warm their bodies and rather a glum and grey morning which is still cold. This tells the reader that the soldiers are depressed due to the dawn being almost as cold as the night and is said to be sad due to its lack of brightness.

” Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our faces” This language technique refers to the snow flakes which are falling from the cold sky are falling onto the men’s faces. The writer gives human qualities of snow flakes surprising the soldiers as they fall onto their faces which gives a sharp cold. This gives the reader as sense of how cold the atmosphere is for the men as it has to be below 0 degrees for snow flakes to be produced and the men have no shelter from the flakes which fall on their bare skin. It also gives us the image of something crawling and feeling ones face which helps us to also get the same sense of feeling the men have.

Rhetorical question

” What are we doing here” This rhetorical question helps us to understand the way the soldiers are feeling as they live through the exposure and cold of the war. They are asking themselves why did they join the army and for what reason are they putting themselves through this. This gives the sense of depression the men are feeling as they struggle to survive through each night. This makes us feel bad for the men and their hardship through war.

references to Exposure in the poem:

  • Merciless iced east winds
  • Mad gusts of wind
  • Misery of dawn
  • Rain soaks, clouds sag stormy
  • Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army
  • Shivering ranks of grey
  • The air that shudders back with snow
  • Flowing flakes that flock
  • Pale flakes
  • Snow-dazed
  • This frost will fasten on this mud and us

Explain what the references specifically tell you about the environment and conditions that the men experience. How is the winter presented as an enemy?

The authors reference to the very cold environment in which the men are fighting in tells us of how the winter weather is given qualities of an enemy which the men are battling against to save their lives. The poem has many examples of the cold wind which is blowing against the men which chills them. The idea the Misery of dawn gives us the idea that even the new day that has arrived is grey, dark and stormy. The cold weather in which the men are exposed to is given human qualities such as the frost which is fastening on the men and the snow flakes which feel their faces help us to understand that the men are not welcoming the cold weather as it is starting to kill them like an enemy would that they are fighting in war. The weather something the men are fearing like an army that they are going to battle with as some know that they are going to die due to the exposure to the cold wind, rain and frost which gives them hypothermia and eventually kills them. The Author continually refers back to the wind which is blowing from the east, it’s cold creeping inside their bodies. He also compares the black clouds which are going to snow are more deadly than the bullets coming from the army that they are battling with. This statement tells us the soldiers are more afraid of the weather which could get colder than the bullets being shot at the men which could kill them. These references to the extreme cold that the men are living through help us to understand what the men are thinking that the cold is a more frightening enemy than the battle that they fight against another country’s soldiers.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

The role of the Author

What can you determine/understand about the writer of the text? What are his beliefs and values? What does he want the reader to experience and understand?

The writer of the text has experienced war and the deaths that have occurred throughout. He understands the rituals and respect that the country follows when theses deaths occur such as drawing-down blinds. He has experienced bombs and guns which helped him to be able to express the fear and depression of death to his friends and fellow soldiers as well as the families feelings towards the death of their loved ones. He wants to give the readers a sense of actually being there when the bells are ringing out and the feeling that the family has when one of their loved ones has died as well as people’s friends.

The writer might have experienced being on the front line as he seems to know the constant sounds of guns of bombs going off around him. I assume he has been there a long time as well as he seems to constantly be hearing their sounds. He might have returned back to his hometown or village after being on the front line as he listens to the church bells ringing out for the dead. He writes from a personal point of view so we can also assume he has had many people he is close with die and the bells have rung out for his loved ones. He may be with people he loves like family and they are all mourning the death of loved ones as he watches them pray and sees grief-stricken faces. There are contrasting images as he tells of how the scene of death is every soldier is treated as another number.  

What has been included?

” No mockeries now”- This word Mockeries explains the way the writer is feeling about how some of the dead soldiers have been treated. He believes that some of the soldiers have been treated like number as they have fought and died for their country o the battle field only to be left and forgotten by their own country. This sentence contradicts this idea as no Mockeries now means that the soldiers who survived and watched their friends die now understand that war is not enjoyable and that the consequences deadly. This sentence helps us to understand what is being taken place as the soldiers understand that war is not fun and that they know once they die a bell will ring out to represent their life and then they may be forgotten by their country and left on the battle field.

“From sad shires” This sentence and word sad shires represent the way the towns and villages from which the soldiers come from feel. The towns have become run down and depressed areas due to the war and the tole it has taken on them. Not only have the men been taken away from their wives, families and loved ones many of them will not be returning due to death, this causes the towns atmosphere and whole state to go into a depression.This helps us to understand the text in more depth as it gives of the message to the readers that war and death has changed towns into a dark, glum state as the people feel depressed as they miss and lose their loved ones and many know they wont be coming back from where they have fallen leaving them wondering where there bodies could be laying.

“Drawing-down of blinds” This action represents a mark of respect to the fallen soldiers and to tell the world that someone has died. Many families once hearing their loved one has died at war draw their blinds to respect them. This gives of the atmosphere the family are feeling as when you draw a blind the room becomes dark and glum, this helps us to understand the way the family is feeling as they have just lost someone they loved and knew so these people are experiencing depression as they find out there soldier has died.  It is also a mark of remembrance of the soldier who has died because the family and friends who pull their blinds are showing respect to the soldier who has gone to war to fight for his country. We understand that in drawing these blinds it gives a lot of sadness and darkness to the writing as readers we feel sorry that a soldier has died and many people will be missing him.

language techniques: what has been included?

“These who die as cattle” This simile is comparing the soldiers who have died at war to cattle. This technique has been chosen to help represent the way the soldiers are being treated as they put themselves at risk for their country. This techniques helps us to understand that the men who are fighting for their country and people through a very tough and grim experience are dying and then being treated like cattle. The soldiers are being used as just another number as once they die many lie on the battle fields forgotten by their country and only remembered by their loved ones as many of the bodies will never be found and left where they have fallen as another man from the same country is recruited only to have the same outcome of death. This helps us to understand as readers that there is not enough respect given to the soldiers who fight for their lives and then are not celebrated and mourned for once they die. It is a reoccurring cycle as another Man takes his place on the field only to reach the same outcome.

“Choir of wailing shells” This personification is comparing human singing qualities to the sound of bomb shells. This language technique has been chosen to show that the sound of bomb shells ring out around the soldiers as they fight at war. This helps us as readers to understand that there is a constant noise to the soldiers ears as they fight. It gives of the idea that because a choir is normally loud singing and a band that the bomb shells are very loud to the soldiers and represent the only noises that they can really hear. This language technique contradicts its self as a choir is something we usually go to watch for enjoyment and pleasure where as in war it is compared to the bombs and gun shells that are constantly exploding around the soldiers which is not a good experience and is likely to make the men go deaf. It is not something the men are enjoying and more likely trying to get away from. It helps the reader to understand what it must be like to have something so loud constantly around them.

“What passing bells for these who die as cattle?” this language technique is a rhetorical question which is asking the readers a question to make them ponder the writing and how the author is feeling. This rhetorical question helps us as readers to understand how the writer feels about the way the men are treated once they die as a representation of their bravery and life is shown by the ringing of a bell which the writer believes is not enough to represent a life. The constant ringing of a bell every time a soldier dies is treating them like a number/cattle in which they all just die and then a small amount of respect is paid by a bell and then they are forgotten. This helps the reader to understand the author’s experience in war as he is upset that so many of his friends and fellow war mates bravery is not respected enough and cannot be supported by the ringing of a church bell as the cycle will continue to happen as one dies they are replaced by another soldier only to have the same fate.  THis helps us to understand the events taken place as the men die a bell is rung out even if they are left where they fell unknown to their families who can’t have their bodies returned.

Contrasting vocabulary and images

a number of positive images have been included in the text these include

“Holy glimmers” This positive use of language gives of the idea of hope and support. A glimmer is a faint bright light you would see in the distance, and something holy is treasured as something that is slightly sacred. This sentence gives of a positive effect to the poem as it saying there is a slight amount of hope. It gives of the idea that there is “light at the end of the tunnel” eg we will get through this. This helps us to understand the families and men of war who are looking for  the end of the war and any hope they find to make their lives better.

” What candles may be held to speed them all?” This positive use of language gives an image to us as readers. it is asking the readers what candle can be used to be show and respect the solider who has died. A candle is something we use to bring light into darkness. This symbolises that in war when a soldier has died and his funeral is being held it is a depressing and dark time for many families but can be elated by candles which bring light and warmth to death. A candle can be used as a sign of hope as it is a small glimmer of light. This gives us the idea as a reader that the candle is the only positive item in the situation such as a funeral and brings a sense of hope to a family.

These positive ideas in the text are contrasted by other negative ideas represented by language and images.

One negative idea is the sentence that is “The pallor of girls’ brows” this sentence gives of a negative image to us as readers that the females who are at home while there men are out fighting war have a pale skin tone to their faces due to grief that war has brought. Many wives, daughters and other females have lost their loves ones to the war and when they find out the man is dead they become pale in the face due to the grief and depression that it causes. This helps us to understand the negative effect and view that the women will have on the war causing them to become grief-stricken and depressed.

Another negative idea shown in the text through language is the words “sad shires” this sentence means that the towns in which the men have come from and live have become depressed and rundown due to their absence and the war. When many of the men die at war the families and friends of the soldiers become depressed this causes a ton to get a dark and glum atmosphere as the people become depressed from grief and start to lose hope for the war. Many towns in which the men came from became like this as they lose sight of any success and hope for the war to end and the battle to be won. This helps us to understand the negative attitudes of the people and atmosphere that is present from the mens home towns.

The above positive image of the candle light-giving hope and the pale grief-stricken faces of the girls gives off contrasting ideas to us as readers. The Author may have put these ideas in the text to show us that anyone who lived through the war had different experiences. Some had a more positive outlook on the war just hoping and waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel in which their countries would win the war and there men would come home compared to those who lost the men they loved causing them to become grief-stricken and depressed losing sight of any hope or success in the war. The languge used of the sad shires and holy glimmers also gives of the same positive and negative ideas the writer is trying to portray. Many who experienced war lived in a glum, sad town which started to lose and sort of drive for the war to finish. Others who experienced war kept seeing glimmers of hope that it would end and that all would be ok when it finished. The writer of the poem uses these ideas to help give the readers a  clear representation of what war experiences could be like for different people with some having a more positive outlook and hope for the war to be won. This is compared to the negative experiences that some had during the war which led them to become depressed after losing loved ones and the people who lost all hope became pale looking and grief-stricken.

Dulce et Decorum Est- What has been included?


” Coughing like hags”- this gives of the image of the soldiers half falling down as the walk as they are so fatigued from the war that they are coughing and spluttering as the continue to push on. It gives us the impression that they are struggling through the war and they have little motivation anymore as the atmosphere becomes depressing as they all become depressed and sick from the constant struggle. Hags are refered to as witches which is how the soldier are portrayed as they are not themselves anymore use to the pain and sickness they are experiencing.

” Dim through the misty panes”- This gives of the imagery of a dreary, cloudy atmosphere as the gas swarms the soldiers of war. The gas is clouding the soldiers view and killing them off. It indicates the way the gas is affecting them as it fills their eyes and if they don’t get their helmets on in time it fills their lungs. This also tells us the soldiers are feeling down as they are surrounded by a dim light.

” Drunk with fatigue” This gives us the imagery of soldiers stumbling and falling as they are so tired. when we think of someone who is drunk they are falling and fumbling around as they aren’t in control of themselves.  This is how the soldiers feel as they are so tired from the war and hard work they act like they are drunk feeling out of control and clumsy.  They feel as they have no control over themselves and the downward spiral toward death that is being caused from the war.


The word “ALL” is used throughout the text and is repeated through the stanzas. Tis gives us the idea that the writer is saying no one is escaping the pain of war. All of the soldiers around the writer and him included are being consumed by the gas, injury and tragedy. It helps us to understand the atmosphere the soldiers are experiencing as they are all together fighting for the same cause and every one of them is being affected by the same problems and struggles as they die and try to push through together. IT has been included to show us that it’s not just the writer who is struggling it is his friends and fellow soldiers as well.

The repetition sentence of “Gas, GAS” in the beginning of the second stanza tells us of how the soldier feels about the gas. The words are used like it is an enemy getting closer and closer at he uses  non capitals in the first word Gas and as it comes closer and becomes more of a threat he uses it in capitals “GAS” it shows us that they are warning the soldiers of the threat ahead and they must prepare for battle by putting their helmets on in time before they are attacked as well as consumed by the gas.  The atmosphere that they are experiencing is pure terror as they try to get prepared in the little time they have by getting protection from this treat. There will be strong feelings of anxiety and anticipation as they wait for it to hit.

The use of the word Lie with a capital L gives the word a personal feeling as the writer treats it like a person. He tells us that the word which is treated like someone telling Wilfred that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country which he believes is untrue and he has been betrayed by the word and everyone who believed that this statement was true. It gives of the atmosphere that Wilfred feels angry that this word has broadcasted and hidden the truth that it is glorious and a good experience to go to war and die for his country when really this was all untrue and he is experiencing hell through fighting.  He wants this statement to not be told in such energy and enthusiasm that it is sweet and fighting to die for one’s country and that the truth should be told that really it is a tragic and soul-destroying experience.

Language techniques 

“coughing like hags”- This language technique is a simile. This simile attaches the word like Hags to coughing. This helps give a better image to the sentence as the word Hag is another name for a witch.  This gives us an image of a old Witch coughing and spluttering. Witches are suppose to be slightly wicked so he refers to the cough as almost wicked. It helps the reader to understand that the soldiers are struggling with a deathly cough.

” I saw him drowning” This language technique is a personal pronoun. This personal pronoun I, gives the reader the feel that they are with the writer experiencing the man “drowning.” It gives the sentence a personal feel and connects the reader to the writers experience and how they are feeling as they watch a man drown in a green gas and the feelings and physical pain they are watching. It helps the reader to get a sense of how they would feel in the same position by making it relevant to the reader.

“Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud of vile, incurable sores” This language technique is Listing. The use of listing helps the reader to develop an understanding of the horrible pain that the soldiers are experiencing. The writer is referring it to ideas like cancer which helps us to know that the pain they have is incurable and will be with them forever. It gives the sense of struggle and extremities that the war is having on the men physically. It tells the reader that what they are experiencing will never go away and is reinforced by the list of other example such as the cancer and incurable sores. Listing elaborates to give a clearer picture and emphasises these ideas.


This is your online portfolio

Hello and welcome to your personal online journal.

This platform has been created to enhance and enrich your learning at Mount Aspiring College. Its purpose is to provide you with an audience for your work (or work-in-progress) and you have the choice (by altering the ‘visibility’ of your posts) of whether your work on here is visible to the world, or only to your teacher.

Anything you post here in the public domain represents you and thus it’s important that you take care with that decision, but don’t be afraid to publish your work – as the feedback you may get from people at home, your peers and people from around the internet is only likely to enhance it.

Remember you can always access your class blog and all manner of resources through the Department of English main website – and by all means check out the sites of your peers to see what they’re getting up to as well.

If you have any questions for me, an excellent way to get an answer is to create a new private post on this journal. I am notified of any new posts and will reply swiftly to any queries.

Make the most of, and enjoy this new freedom in your English learning.



Chris Waugh