Anthem for Doomed Youth

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It can be easily distinguished from many of his other works, as it is a sonnet. It has fourteen lines, divided up into two movements, with an initial alternate rhyme scheme used in the octave, changing to a more unusual sestet in the final movement. In this sestet, the first and fourth lines rhyme, as do the second and third and it ends on a couplet. The first stanza is mainly about the battlefield, whereas the second stanza is more about the reactions of friends and family back at home. By using a sonnet, a touch of irony is used. The conventional function for a sonnet is love, but this sonnet has a theme of a love that has turned bad. The young male population have so much patriotic love and are so eager to serve, but this love turns sour. They spend time rotting in the wastes of the trenches, only to be mown down by a machine gun nest. Not only are their lives wasted, gone without the holy ritual of funeral, but the lives of their loved ones at home are also ruined. This poem starts off at a quick pace, and then continues to decelerate throughout the poem, drawing to a slow, solemn and sombre close. Throughout this poem the traditional feel of an elaborate ceremonial of a Victorian style funeral is constantly compared and contrasted to the ways in which men died in the war. The title 'Anthem for Doomed Youth,' with anthems usually being associated with love and passion, is very deliberately ironic. It is a way in which Owen shows how ridiculous he really thought the war was. 'Anthem' is a song that is sung in churches by choirs or could mean a celebration. The word 'Doomed' is used to suggest that the soldiers are alive but have an inevitable death. Additionally, it symbolises death and conjures up the image that the soldiers are on their journey to hell. The word 'Youth' is used to remind the reader that
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