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When Wilfred Owen wrote the poem 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' his purpose was to warn us of the effects of war and how it can affect soldiers and their loved ones.

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Introduction

AMDG Folio Piece Breda Sweeney Anthem for Doomed Youth 20-02-02 When Wilfred Owen wrote the poem 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' his purpose was to warn us of the effects of war and how it can affect soldiers and their loved ones. He achieves this by comparing the horror and danger on the battlefield, to the respect we show to our loved ones at their funeral when they die. He list objects such as prayers and candles and twists them into the equivalents of war. Owen splits the poem into two parts, the octave and the sestet. The octave is set on the battlefield. It starts with, "What passing bells for those who die as cattle?" In this the line, the passing bells are signalling what the cannons sounded like on the battlefield. I think this is a good comparison as bells and cannons both have the same rhythm of sound coming from them. He also describes the sound that comes from the riffle, to be like the constant flow and rhythm of prayers been said aloud. ...read more.

Middle

Owen also handles the rhythm of the sonnet very effectively. He has written the poem to give each line the suitable amount of syllables and words to suit its tone and the message he is trying to get across. The rhythm of the first line is slow and gives the impression of a bell, swaying back and forth. By using alliteration in the third line we get the effect of a rifle gun and the noise, which it makes. We also get the impression that the gun is out of control as there are lots of short words after one another. In the line 'The shrill demented choirs of wailing shells,' Owen describes how the shells move and recreates the sound that they make by only using ten syllables. In the sestet, the rhythm is much more steady and slow compared to the octave. This is because he is dealing with mourners at home and people waiting for loved ones. He describes everything to be like a funeral and so the rhythm is very sad and slow especially in the last line, 'And each slow dusk a drawing ...read more.

Conclusion

All of these create an impression of a terrifying war full of death and destruction. His word choice also allows us to experience what sort of emotions families at home were going through. Candles create a very vivid picture of the families having no where to place candles as they do not even know where their loved ones body is. 'The pallor of girls` brows shall be their pall,' this line invites sympathy because we see images of young women waiting for their fianc�s to return but secretly knowing they won't be or mothers waiting for their sons to come home. 'The flowers the tenderness of silent minds,' gives a beautiful and clear image of family members thinking about their loved ones and their thoughts growing like a flowers and eventually dying. By using all these devises, he achieved his purpose to warn us of the effects of war and how it can affect soldiers and their loved ones. Through his word choice, he let us know how devastating war really is. Hopefully by writing this poem, people realise the truth about war and how it hurts families just as much as soldiers. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This candidate has written a fair answer, though frequently, to be frank, misses the point, The answer often loses clarity and accuracy either as a result of not paying close enough attention to the appropriate analytical techniques required of an ...

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Response to the question

This candidate has written a fair answer, though frequently, to be frank, misses the point, The answer often loses clarity and accuracy either as a result of not paying close enough attention to the appropriate analytical techniques required of an A Level candidate or simply due to not reading the poem properly. Some analysis is good, but it is frequently outweighed by slightly more erroneous comments, such as "Owen] has written the poem to give each line the suitable amount of syllables". This is not correct as the poem quite obviously and deliberately has an irregular rhythm and pays no tribute to the convention of the sonnet structure other than the number of lines (even the rhyme scheme is deliberately skewed). Elsewhere, the candidate makes comments like "The octave ends with the word "shires" which leads us on to the sestet." which are ultimately fruitless and bear no analytical resonance whatsoever. Candidates must not waste their time trying to comment on everything in the essay. Instead they must comment only on what is necessary to answer the question. Quoting from every single line is not an effective way of doing this, as not every line has something worth quoting or referencing. Just be slightly more specific with your analysis choice and make sure you can tie it back to the question.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is consistent throughout, but rarely are any illuminating points made. A lot of the time the candidate retells us what Owen is saying, as if translating from poetic writing into everyday writing. There needs to be more than this in the answer, and it must be stand-alone analysis without the requirement of needless quoting to indicate whereabouts in the poem the candidate has got to.

Say a lot about a little - comment explicitly and to as much length as you can about even the smallest of poetic features. the choice of one word over another (e.g. the title change from 'Anthem for Dead Youth' to 'Anthem for Doomed Youth'. And please, make sure you really understand what Owen is saying in his metaphors, as slight misconception lead to analysis built on poor interpretation, which limits the creativity and accuracy of the analysis.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication (QWC) is generally average. It is legible, but the grammar is quite poor in parts with some words omitted, some sentences being partially unclear. Candidates at A Level must realise this is not acceptable and time should be taken toward the end of an exam/before the final coursework deadline to ensure that QWC is of the highest possible quality.


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