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Anthem for Doomed Youth

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Wilfred Owen - Anthem for Doomed Youth Wilfred Owen is a poet who wrote anti-war poems. One of his most famous poems is called 'Anthem for Doomed youth'. He wrote this poem to enlighten the reader about what you experience on a battle field. He describes to us the conditions to show his bitter angst towards war and how wrong it was of the government to send innocent men to fight a battle which was not even worth the amount of lives that were lost. Wilfred Owen manages to achieve his purpose by using different methods in language. He uses alliteration, onomatopoeia, metaphors and suitable words. The words are very straight-forward but Wilfred Owen still manages to describe the conditions clearly. The alliteration and onomatopoeia used in the poem empathizes certain phrases, for example, "Rifles rapid rattle," it uses sound to create an image in our minds. ...read more.


The poem is also a sonnet. In the first octet it deals with the tragedy of war and dying. This can be seen by the description of the sounds heard during war and the weapons used - the guns, rifles, shells, all linked, ironically to religious imagery. In the sestet it deals with the mourning process and the memory of the dead. This can be seen by the candles and the respect people show by the "drawing-down of blinds". The structure of a sonnet used by Wilfred Owen is by itself ironic. Usually sonnets are used to express love but this poem has a sort of anti-love feel to it, the exact opposite of love. The juxtaposition used in line 6, of "choirs" and "wailing shells" is an astonishing metaphor. Wilfred Owen tries to show us how God's world and the Devil's world are both as one, during war. ...read more.


The long alternative 'd' drags it into a slow ending, "drawing-down of blinds". The ending line deals with the anguish a process of grief which will be sustained by their families. I think the poem achieved its purpose and therefore it can be said that good language is used efficiently. When I read the poem it made me depressed, and pity those who had to fight in the war. I agree with Wilfred Owen's opinion on war. He manages to make it a nostalgic poem that ends on a wistful note. I found it very impressive how he used our senses to evoke feelings in us, and to give us a clear image of what happened during the First World War. He used the sense of hearing and sight and the way he wrote his poem could make you read it over and over, and always find another mystery, which has not yet been discovered. Mon-06-09-04 English Lore Steenmans ...read more.

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Response to the question

This candidate responds well to the question, which is to focus on the use of language to create effect in Wilfred Owen's 'Anthem for Doomed Youth'. Here the candidate shows an ability to identify poetic devices like onomatopoeia, alliteration and ...

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Response to the question

This candidate responds well to the question, which is to focus on the use of language to create effect in Wilfred Owen's 'Anthem for Doomed Youth'. Here the candidate shows an ability to identify poetic devices like onomatopoeia, alliteration and metaphors and comment on them. I would argue though, that some of the identified devices are not commented on in any analytical depth. This is by no means a bad thing as the analysis which is present shows there is a fairly sound use of analytical tools, but it would be better for the candidate not to mention what they don't intend commenting on, than mentioning every single aspect of the poem worthy of a commentary and then only comment on a select few.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis shown here is indicative of a very high C/low B grade for GCSE. The analysis is sound though arguably more depth could be shown in parts. Some parts however are wonderfully in-depth and delve to a very profound level of analysis (such as the candidate's commentary on "passing-bells". They take the poem off the page and look to the resonance of what the individual word "passing" and "bells" mean, as well as what they mean when contracted and what they mean in the context of the poem. This is the level of analysis that gets candidates real marks - features-spotting and overly long introductions about Wilfred Owen's history do nothing similarly rewarding.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication here is very good. The candidate's answer is well-structured, well-written and shows all the signs of an confident, competent and accurate writer. They use their skills of analysis well and organise their work clearly with a range of appropriate terminology designed for both analysis and poetic appreciation.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 14/04/2012

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