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Wilfred Owen's "Anthem for Doomed Youth" offers an anti-war perspective of war's horror and impacts on young soldiers.

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Introduction

Commentary of Anthem For Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen Wilfred Owen's "Anthem for Doomed Youth" offers an anti-war perspective of war's horror and impacts on young soldiers. The poet uses an opposing and sympathetic tone to describe the terrifying and unfortunate deaths that war causes. By using the structure of a sonnet to create objection towards war, images of improper funerals, figurative devices of inhumane conditions and various sound devices of weapons to convey the theme of senseless destruction and unappreciated sacrifice. The title "Anthem for Doomed Youth" introduces the sympathetic and grieving tone by suggesting that the poem is a song to these young men who died in battle. The choice of diction, "anthem" is usually a happy celebratory song, however along with "doomed youth" meaning young adult with an inescapable fate, this song seems to be sung for the tragedy that awaits these young people. ...read more.

Middle

Aside from painting the scene of youths at war, he also creates an image of a church, where funerals are supposedly held. Throughout the poem, Owen uses diction like "choirs", "candles", "holy glimmers" and "pall" to signify as the objects that the soldier's funerals lack. Those are all objects that can found inside a church, especially during a funeral. By not having these basic, essential objects of a funeral, the poet is once more reenforcing that their sacrifice in war is unappreciated and inhumane. Owen also uses figurative devices like personification to support the theme of senseless destruction. He personifies guns in line 2 "monstrous anger" as an angry monster who are inhumane and causes massive mindless destruction. In addition, in line 4 "patter out their hasty orisons" implies that when the guns are repeatedly shot at a consistent pace, suggesting that the shooting of the guns is a mindless routine. ...read more.

Conclusion

This poem also alters reader's entire perspective on war, and those who fight it. Anthem For Doomed Youth What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; And bugles calling for them from sad shires. What candles may be held to speed them all? Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall; Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds. Wilfred Owen English Commentary: Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen Rachel Poon Dr. Kowalcyzk ENG2D7 April 9, 2012 ...read more.

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