Making close reference to language imagery and verse form, consider ways in which the realities of war are presented in Anthem for a Doomed Youth. Does Owen present this more or less effectively here than in other poems which you have read? Essay

1339 WordsOct 12, 20086 Pages
“Pro Patria Mori,” the famous last line of “Dulce et Decorum Est”. This line uses the satirical irony of the government’s slogan in which it idolises death for one’s country. However “Anthem for Doomed Youth”, is written as a tribute to the men dying at the front. This poem is more about the consequences of war and less about the immediate effects of war. Wilfred Owen creates this tension through the use of language, religious imagery and contexts; he is able to establish raw emotions felt not only at the front but at home as well. Owen ensnares the reader’s attention in the opening line with the question “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?” This simplistic yet powerful imagery which encapsulates both the imagery of men dying like cattle in a slaughterhouse, but also it is a way of questioning the government who brainwash youth to fight and die heroically in a “noble war”, and yet they die like cattle. Also, the imagery of cattle is used to dehumanise the soldiers, this is shown through the sheer scale and the manner of their parting is not the heroic or meaningful death that they had been told about. Also, the imagery of cattle shows the reader that the soldiers were put to death rather than it being through their own being. The title in this poem is particularly poignant because it creates a feeling of despair but also of respect for the men at the front. The title is an oxymoron because the word Anthem has connotations with the national anthem; however doomed youth represents the fate that the soldiers are facing. Unlike most of Wilfred Owens title which satirise the war, for example “Dulce et Decorum Est”, or “Apologia Pro Poemate Meo”, this title is written as a tribute for the men who die or fight at the front, however it is not a heroic anthem to

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