The War To End All Wars: The Old Man And The Young

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The War to End All Wars: Sacrifice and Slaughter Wilfred Owen’s poem “The Parable of the Old Man and the Young” parallels the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. The similarities and differences between the two works help illustrate the moral lessons of the stories. Owen uses the bible story in Genesis 22 to convey his feelings about the cruelty and injustices that arose from the abuse of power during World War I. Owen uses many of the same elements from Genesis 22 to illustrate his point. In both stories, God commands Abraham to sacrifice his only son as a test of faith. Both times, Abraham is willing to sacrifice Isaac without fear so God rewards him an animal to sacrifice in Isaac’s place. Owen also changed many of the elements from the bible story that make apparent the meaning behind the poem.…show more content…
While Genesis 22 takes place in “the land of Moriah” Owen uses the words “fire and iron” and “belts and straps” to show that the story is taking place in a more modern time. In Genesis 22, Abraham builds an alter out of wood in order to sacrifice his son. In the poem Isaac says to his father, “Behold the preparations, fire and iron”. This suggests that the European countries are preparing for war by making weapons which will be used to sacrifice the soldiers of war. The image of “belts and straps” to bind Isaac down creates an image of entrapment of the youth enlisted for war. This parallels the binding of Isaac in Genesis showing the helplessness of soldiers before their slaughter in the
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