Anthem for Doomed Youth

What has been included: What can you determine/understand about the writer of this text? What are his experiences beliefs and values? What does he want the reader to experience or understand?

What we can understand about the author is that he was a soldier, as the detail that has been included, but we can also assume that he is a poet as he has the literacy skills to put his experience into a poem. They’re many religious references in the poem, which leads us as the reader to think that he is religious.

What has been included: Consider the selection of words/vocabulary in this poem. Why have specific words been chosen? What do the words convey? How do the words affect our understanding of what is taking place?

In the poem Anthem for Doomed Youth, Wilfred Owen has included a wide range of Vocabulary and Words to emphasise certain parts of the poem. In the first line of the poem “What passing-bells for those who die as cattle?” I can feel Owens anger. The amount of soldiers who are dying in the war is being reiterated by the bells being tolled constantly. Owen feels like this is similar to cattle being sent to the slaughter house. This puts a vivid picture in the readers head of the comparisant between the two, but also the mourning families of the soldiers. This. creates a feeling of sadness and anger.

Many of the words that Owen has used in the text represent death and sadness. Passing bells, Drawing down of blinds, pall, pallor, candles, and bugles are examples of the vocabulary that Owen uses to set the scene in the poem.

What has been included: Consider the selection of language techniques in this poem. Why have specific language techniques been chosen? What do the techniques convey? How do the techniques affect our understanding of what is taking place?

Wilfred Owen has used countless language techniques throughout the poem for example: simile, personification, alliteration, repetition and many more. One that stood out to me was the use of personification in the line, “monstrous anger of the guns” Personification is when a human characteristic is given to a non human object. In this case, Owen has given the gun the feeling of anger; this may make the reader more able to understand what the is trying to convey. Others may interpret this line as meaning that the soldiers have the anger and it has been transferred  to the gun, but I believe in this case it is the other way. In a situiation where there is a major war, many lives would have been taken; and  in World War One gunfire was one of the main causes. So for many soldiers there friends lives would have been caught short because of guns, so when they pick up there gun anger might posses them because they know what the weapon will do. Almost like there holding a monster.

What has been included: Consider the contrasting vocabulary and images within the poem. How have positive and negative images been represented throughout the poem the language choice and images?

In the poem many of the words have religious backgrounds, as the reader we imagine peace and calmness. However, Owen contrasts this by using words that causes the readers images to swap from a biblical and religious place, to the middle of a war zone with guns firing everywhere. An example of this is in the first stanza where in one line Owen says “Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle” then in the next he says “Can patter out their hasty orisons.”

Although there are many religious words and features which should create a positive image, there are none, The only image which sticks with the reader is is that of negative things. This is very ironic as war in England and Europe was glorified as an experience of a life time and something that you should be wanting to go to. Wilfred Owens own experiences must have been anything but enjoyable.

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