Anthem For Doomed Youth, By Wilfred Owen

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Wilfred Owen is one of the most famous war poets. He became interested on writing poems when he was a teenager. On 21 October 1915, he volunteered to contribute to war and wrote many war poems, such as ‘Anthem for doomed youth’, ‘Exposure’, and ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’. In these poems Owen has described the horror and reality of war through his vivid experience. He has portrayed the severe situations of war and dreadful sights he has seen. Owen uses various language devices to convey the horror of war and make us understand his genuine feelings.

Owen uses simile to express the fearful experience at war in his poem, ‘Anthem for doomed youth’. This is demonstrated in the line, ‘What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?’. The word, ‘passing-bells’,
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This is described in the line, ‘And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin’. Alliteration is used in the line, ‘watch the white eyes writhing in his face’ and displays a soldier’s eyes ‘writhing’ as if his eyes are expressing what he is feeling like, which would be agony and fear. The ‘whiteness’ of his eyes conveys horror and emphasizes his anguish towards war. He is suffering in pain and at this point, Owen presents war as a terrifying and haunting experience. This is a convincing alliteration to indirectly give the feeling of horror to readers. Moreover, he uses simile, ‘His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin’, to describe the gruesome face of a man in detail. The word ‘hanging’ also shows how frightening and terrifying his face is. Not only the simile refers the man as the devil, but the ‘devil’s sick of sin’ to express he is same as the devil who is feeling worthless and wishing to escape hell. Since the soldier’s face is demonstrated this way, the line indicates that the soldier is questioning the reasons why he is at war. In addition, the use of his simile can convey how a devil can be appalled by his sight. The effective language and imagery enhances the horror of war, reinforcing the image of a man dying from a gas

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