Poetic Techniques In Anthem For Doomed Youth

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Wilfred Owen’s war poetry is shaped by an intense focus on extraordinary human experiences. He was particularly concerned to show the true circumstances of the First World War, WW1 (1914-1918), by showing great depths of suffering and pity, as well as the falsity of war propaganda. ’Dulce Et Decorum Est’ graphically describes the traumatic setting of the battlefield, subverting traditional perceptions of war as honourable, emphasising the debilitating consequences of war on the young innocent soldiers. Similarly, through ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ Owen creates the scene of a funeral in order to demonstrate how young men have been abandoned and stripped of their lives and dignity on the battlefield. A close analysis of Owen’s language techniques …show more content…
He vividly conveys this to the responders by the strong condemnation of the attack on the young soldiers, in which many of them suffered indignity and inhumanity, as they were strewn anonymously across the battlefield as unburied corpses. For example, Owen’s use of the soft alliterative ‘g’ in ‘glimmers of goodbyes’ reinforces the silent suffering of the helpless soldiers as they are forced to witness the gruesome death of their comrades. Additionally, the adjective ‘holy’ connotes the innocence of these ‘boys’, which positions the audience to ever more realise the sheer waste and devastation wreaked by the atrocious war. Furthermore the use of personification and alliteration in the image ‘…stuttering, rifles, rapid rattle’ creates a staccato rhythm, and this effectively captures the noisy sounds of gunfire. In that image, Owen enables the responders to visualise the terrifying suffering the soldiers endured, during the war. Similarly, in ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ Owen confronts us with the utter exhaustion of the soldiers. The powerful image ‘like old beggars under sacks’ not only evokes the difficulty of the soldier’s movements through the sludge, but it also shows the degradation that war brings. From this visual effect, the responders are shown Owen’s image of war, as a demonic force that tortures and consumes …show more content…
Here he effectively examines the vitriolic way in which a multitude of soldiers had been deceived by the British government who used propaganda to encourage a generation of young men to engage in war. For example, the use of the bitterly sarcastic tone in the address ‘My friend’ coupled with the subversion of the old Lie ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori’ demonstrates Owen’s personal attack on the government’s use of propaganda to deceive and mistreat the young soldiers. This clever use of imagery, positions modern day responders to understand the devastation of war, counteracting those idealised notions perpetuated on the home front. Furthermore, the diction ‘boys’ carries connotations of youth, innocence, and naivety, which in turn emphasises the deception and corruption of the British government – including its mistreatment of the young and vulnerable soldiers. No doubt, this proficient use of imagery convinces the readers of the present-day society as a whole to accept the falsity of the war propaganda. As Owen portrays to the readers that during the First World war the government’s leadership style was quite deceptive in leading these ‘boys’ (i.e. soldiers) to an early painful death. Conversely, in ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ Owen explores the loss of innocence experienced by the young soldiers. The

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