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Commentary on Owen's "Anthem for Doomed Youth".

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Introduction

ANTHEM FOR DOOMED YOUTH Jade Wright S5 Throughout his career Wilfred Owen composed contemplative poetry based on his abrupt and abrasive approach on describing the daunting nature of war that had dark and dreary moods. This effect was created though his proficient use of imagery and word choice. A poem which demonstrates how Owen applies these poetic techniques to fashion moods is ?Anthem For Doomed Youth? written in the year 1917. Using this poem as an example, I will show how Owen achieves this tone and the effect it has on the reader. Owen indicates in the octet of the poem that soldiers die on the battlefield like cattle dying in a slaughterhouse; with little meaning, with no loved ones there to comfort them. The end of the poem is more affectionate; while no funeral takes place on the battlefield, but is happening back in Britain as each individual has something resembling a funeral, even if it shows only their loved ones weeping. ...read more.

Middle

?Can patter out their hasty orisons?. It is obvious to see that his use of the word hasty implies the speed at what the soldiers are fighting which gives reason for the soldiers not pausing to grieve. Owen is implying to the reader that the soldier?s original thoughts towards the battle are now changing dramatically. ?No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells?. This suggest that the celebratory attitude towards war has totally changed as soldiers are no longer pattering out their orisons, they are silent and focused on the battle. The poet uses juxtaposition to vary two simple words that are connected together to form irony. ?The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells?. This gives an illusion of hope as we relate choirs to being religious, faithful and innocent, where as this is now contrasted with the idea of demented; connotation of mad or crazy. ...read more.

Conclusion

The drawing down of blinds back in the olden days was a symbol of death, because of his specific word choice this enables us to refer this to the idea of relating when the sun is setting to death. We know that death happens every day, it is a common thing in the world, this fact can also be applied to sun set, which as we know also happens every day. In conclusion, I think Owen has been extremely successful in having an emotional impact on the reader from the poem. I found that his success was attained by the various effective poetic techniques being conveyed throughout the entire poem which include the following: imagery, word choice, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, repetition, sibilance, connotations, juxtaposition and rhetorical questions. The reason for the majority of techniques being used for the poem is to emphasise and to enable the emotion within the reader being created to be enlarged and taking into something so much bigger. ...read more.

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