"Exposure," like most of Owen's poetry, deals with the subject of war. "Exposure" focuses primarily on the monotony of everyday life for many troops, as well as the severe circumstances they must undergo (that is, be "exposed" to) even while not on the battlefield. The term "exposure" comes from the military practice of lining up men side by side in a field and shooting them down without their ever knowing what hit them.
In this poem, Owen describes how soldiers are exposed to danger every day at work sites, while eating and drinking, etc. He also mentions how women suffer "exposure" as well when they go out into public places alone.
Finally, he asks if any men were spared exposure during this great war. Many people believe that this question is the real reason why "The Battle of Blüchersee" is one of Owen's best-known poems.
Here is how the last line ends: "Was there no one who did not experience the horror of exposure?." (This is not exactly correct punctuation.) This question really drives home the idea that no one was safe from exposure during this war--not even children or women who could not fight back. It also shows us that everyone involved in the conflict had someone they lost due to exposure.
The impact of war on the protagonist nation is depicted via exposure. The poet's emotions are the center of The Bayonet Charge. Exposure is presented as a first-hand account of life in the trenches. It is important to note that William Ernest Henley was not present at the battle itself, but rather he witnessed the aftermath from the safe shelter of his desk job at the Times.
Exposure reveals the mental state of its protagonist by depicting what happens to him after the battle. When Colonel Armstrong returns home to England after being wounded in action, he is welcomed with open arms by his wife and children. However, this image is immediately followed by one of despair as he lies dying in a French hospital. His family cannot be with him because they are back in England waiting for news of his fate. This sequence shows that even though he has survived the battle, his life has been completely altered by it.
Furthermore, exposure depicts the war as a whole by showing what life is like for the country when there is no war. When war breaks out, most people go off to fight or work in the army camps. However, once peace is declared, most people want nothing more than to return home. This demonstrates how dangerous and volatile world politics can be because one moment you are at war and the next you are not.
Owen's "Exposure" is written predominantly in the first person plural, with the subject referred to as "our" and "we" throughout (1, 2). When the speaker is lost in contemplation and contemplating what it might be like to come home during combat, the perspective briefly incorporates third-person plural in stanzas six and eight. Otherwise, the poem is written in first person singular.
Owen uses the first-person pronoun "I" only four times in the poem (3, 4, 7, 8). Each time it occurs, it introduces a new section of verse or a new idea within the context of the larger work. The last word of each section is capitalized, indicating that it is a separate entity from the rest of the poem. For example, in stanza three, the phrase "I will come home" begins this section of the poem.
Here, Owen means that if someone is going to murder him, they should do so immediately because he intends to die soon anyway. In stanza two, he changes his mind about dying and decides instead to face his enemies alone rather than surrendering himself to them.