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Analysis of Anthem for doomed Youth

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Anthem for Doomed Youth - Wilfred Owen Wilfred Owen was born the 18th of March 1893 in United Kingdom. He's probably, one of the most important English War Poets. The popularity of Owen today can be explained by his condemnation of the horrors of war. As an English poet, he is noted for his anger at the cruelty and waste of war and his pity for its victims. He said," "My subject is War and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity." The title, 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', gives the first impression of the poem. An 'anthem', is a song of praise, perhaps sacred, so we get the impression that the poem might be about something religious or joyous. However, the anthem is for 'Doomed Youth' which describes something negative. ...read more.


'Passing-bells' is "a bell tolled after someone's death to announce the departure of that person from this world". Here it can either mean that there are not enough bells, or there is no time to ring the bells for each dying soldier. "The monstrous anger of the guns" is the answer for the first line, and describes what the soldiers receive. The line is onomatopoeic and gives an image of the intense firing of the guns. 'Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle can patter out their hasty orisons,' are two effective lines that imply that instead of prayers, the soldiers receive the firing of bullets.. The poet uses alliteration in the words 'rifles' rapid rattle' to emphasize the sounds of destruction which is continuous. 'No mockeries no prayers nor bells nor choirs,' is the opening to the second quatrain and illustrates the horrific way in which soldiers die and that they do not even receive basic objects that would be expected in a traditional ceremony. ...read more.


Wives and other female relatives cry in despair. It suggests the terrible effect that their tragic death has had on their relatives and the strong, sorrowful emotions they must be encountering. 'Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,' compares the bright, colorful flowers that would be offered at a ceremonial to suffering relatives and friends of the 'victim.' The final comparison is that of dusk to the drawing down blinds in a house in mourning. 'And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds,' creating the image that dusk is like a blind that is being lowered. The funeral is over and the rhetorical question that the poet asked at the beginning of the stanza has been answered, and the noise has vanished. Throughout the poem the point that is emphasized is that the soldiers that die do not receive dignified endings and even in death, battle still rages around them. By: Abdurrhman Ahmed Al-Shimi ...read more.

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Response to the question

This candidate here has shown a good response to the question. The candidate comments on a number of poetic devices present in 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', and is one of the few candidates whose answer I have read to find ...

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Response to the question

This candidate here has shown a good response to the question. The candidate comments on a number of poetic devices present in 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', and is one of the few candidates whose answer I have read to find a sound analysis of the title. Candidates almost always underestimate the the gravity of a poem's title and start their analysis at the first stanza most of the time, but this poem's title has a very resonant effect. The analysis isn't expressed as clearly as it could be, with the buzz word "irony" not being mentioned at all, and there could be further elaboration into the effect changing the title from 'Anthem for Dead Youth' to 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' - the one word change shifts the focus from the dead to those walking to their inevitable deaths, so the emotive resonance of the helplessness of it all is magnified exponentially.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis shown here is indicative of a low/middle B grade for GCSE. The candidate demonstrates and adeptness and accurately identifying poetic devices and comments on them with flair and enthusiasm. However, in some parts, particularly towards the beginning of the essay (and lending to the quite awkward start) the candidate's analysis is not as apparent

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 11/04/2012

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    In linking them to animals, Owen also implies that he feels the soldiers are stupid - another sign that perhaps he is trying to make a point as it would have been a rare opinion to think ill of your soldiers.

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    honour their courage obedience and also to condemn the blunder 'Forward the Light Brigade' which led to the death of most of the 'six hundred'. On the other hand Wilfred Owen uses poetic methods to state and to describe the terrible conditions the soldiers had to face in the war before and after their death.


    'Only the monstrous anger of the guns' is the answer to this question. Through personification the guns responsible for taking so much human life are made out to be evil. The image that is created is that there is a mass of exploding shells.

  2. Revision Notes - Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

    L3, 4. ?Only the stuttering rifles? rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons.? Repetition of ?Only? showing in more detail what the monstrous anger of the guns sounded like. Alliteration and onomatopoeia used to imitate the sound of the guns ? harsh, repetitive.

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