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Discuss the Ways which the Poets use Language to achieve their Purposes - Anthem for Doomed Youth, Does it Matter, War Exalts

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Discuss the Ways which the Poets use Language to achieve their Purposes. I will study three separate poems by three poets to see the ways they use language. All three poems are full of ironic overtures, in which the poets get across the message that war is not good, as the governments say, but hell. The first poem is 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', written by Wilfred Owen about the First World War. The title uses the word 'doomed', which has a strong sense of finality, and sets the mood for the rest of the poem. There are a lot of church related words in this poem, for example 'prayers', 'choir', and 'pall'. This is an ironic choice of words, as the poem is about the fact that the youth die without a proper funeral. This also gives an idea of glory in death, which the government says, but is an unchristian belief. ...read more.


It is a poor substitute for you legs, and the sarcasm is that it is all right that you are crippled because you are pitied. The use of the word 'others' has the effect of isolating the soldier, which is what he feels in life, as he can't go out 'hunting' anymore. In the line 'there's such splendid work for the blind;' this is also sarcastic, and is written as in the view of someone else, the word 'splendid' suggesting that it is a rich person who is impressed by himself for helping the blind by giving them a job in society. There is only so much a blind man can do, so this is demeaning for them. 'Remembering' suggests dreaming, as this is a common escape from reality. The last line of this stanza is moving, 'And turning your face to the light'. This is a noticed fact about blind babies, and gives a sense of yearning, as they are trying but failing to see. ...read more.


Also, the word 'cleanses' is a word that is often associated with 'ethnic cleansing', a racist attack on a community, a great evil. This makes the propaganda seem evil as well. 'It lifts man from the mud' is ironic, as this is where many fall and die. The question, 'Ask God what he thinks' is rhetorical, as everyone knows the answer. It is a Christian attack on government propaganda, as everyone is sacred according to Christian teachings. The third stanza has more impact when read aloud, as the last line is very strong. It says 'Then go wash the blood of and try to face your child.' This is juxtaposed with the poem, as a child is innocent. This is what makes the poem stand out, as the last line is a quiet, sneering line, cutting deep into anyone who is a parent. The fact that children are told war is heroic and brave, but that a parent cannot face their child about it is a powerful image, and final proof that war isn't good. In conclusion, all three poems use language in different ways. ...read more.

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