In on how the soldiers are not guaranteed

In the poem “Dreamers” by Siegfried Sassoon the speakertalks about soldiers that are dreaming to be at home with their families,instead of being in a foreign country in horrible conditions fight day andnight to win a war they know nothing about. The speaker opens a whole newperspective on soldiers.

Originally when we hear the word soldiers, we usuallythink of them as killing machines. The speakers point out the psychologicalstress the soldiers go through while at war. The speaker uses many figurative languages to help put more meaningin to the poem. In line 1, the poet says “…death’s grey land,”. He uses ametaphor to compare it to it as the battle fields.

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The metaphor helps put amore morbid and serious image in the readers head. That soldiers are living inhighly intense situations. It helps to express that they are victims of war.  In line 2, he says “Drawing no dividend fromtime’s to-morrows”. He uses this alliteration to help the reader focus on howthe soldiers are not guaranteed to see tomorrow.

He shows that the soldiers arenot only fighting to win but to ensure that they can live another day. In line1,5,and 7 he says “Soldiers are…”. He uses repetition to state that soldiersare “citizens of death’s grey land/ sworn to action; they mustwin/dreamers;”(line 1,5,7). The irony in the poem is that we think soldiers arethe toughest people on the planet, but once they are done fighting in the warthey are mentally unstable and are very traumatized from all the unspeakableexperiences they have witnessed. The poem is filled with imagery.

In line 8 hesays “firelit homes, clean beds, and wives” showing that the soldiers wish tohave this again. In line 9-10 the speaker says “in foul dug-out, gnawed byrats. / And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,” it clearly shows thehorrible conditions they lived in and the readers can see how soldiers fought. Allof these literary devices help to paint a vivid picture of how soldiers foughtat war and how they felt during the war. The tone of this poem is morbid, he makes the reader feelbad for the soldiers and their condition. In line 1 the speaker says that the”soldiers are citizens of death’s grey land,” automatically the reader canimagine a dark and morbid scene. His Petrarchan sonnet has helped with the continuousflow and rhyming.

It helps the reader to be focused on the poem. In stanza onehis rhyme scheme is abab then cdcd, it helps tie up the meaning of the poem. Inthe second stanza is efefef.  When reading the title “Dreamers” on thinks that it will beabout everyday citizens that dream about buying the new Ferrari they want orbuying the newest mansion in Beverly Hills. Once the reader begins to read the poemthe meaning of the poem shifts.

The reader understands that soldiers are alsodreamers of having their life back. The speaker is portraying soldiers as an everydaycitizen wanting more than having to fight and kill. He is conveying this messageto those who see soldiers as order following heartless people. The poem is very impressive and can keep the reader’sattention. The vivid imagery makes it clear to readers the physical and mentalcondition they are in. The speaker switches from explaining how the soldiersare sworn in to win and next as dreamers.

He effectively conveys the fellingthat soldiers are individuals who can die in the war and not take part in some partof everyday life such as “Bank-holidays, and picture shows” (13) and playing “ballsand bats” (11). They probably will not be able to have a “firelit homes, cleanbeds and wives” ever again. 


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