A Critical Analysis of 'Anthem for doomed youth' by Wilfred Owen.

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A Critical Analysis of ‘Anthem for doomed youth’ by Wilfred Owen.

For this essay I will critically analyse and evaluate the use and effect of literary devices and forms while showing the interaction of explicit and implicit meanings within the poem. I will also refer to the historical and cultural factors affecting the production and reception of the poem.

The title ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’ is very deliberately ironic with the juxtaposition of anthem, which is associated with praise and triumph with doomed which means certain demise. Through doing this Owen shocks the reader and immediately introduces them to theme of the poem, death of soldiers and gets the audience to question the war; after all, how can you pay tribute to inevitable death? The word ‘youth’ accentuates his message of the wrong of the war. Owen achieves this as youth conjures thoughts of naivety and innocence that creates even greater pathos then he would achieve had he used the word men. ‘Doomed youth’ has the use of assonance in the sound with the intention to be drawn out and lugubrious.

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The poem asks and answers the following question, what funeral and ceremonies are there for the soldiers that die as cannon fodder? The answer the poem gives is none. The meaning it conveys is that the war must be wrong if the soldiers die so cheaply as to not receive a proper burial. The poem is about the First World War where over ten million people died and was written by Wilfred Owen who served as an officer. Owen wrote poetry through out his war years, using his experience of battle and its aftermath as his inspiration, having experienced many ...

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