Analysis Of Wilfred Owen's Anthem For Doomed Youth

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Texts are inevitably shaped by the contexts of their time. Since the inception of protest, poetry has remained a quintessential medium to question the status quo. With humanity sealed in its first global conflict, Wilfred Owen reveals the plight of soldiers to ‘warn’ those who remain oblivious of the ‘pity of war’. The poet delivers critique on the lack of empathy from authoritative institutions in his 1917 ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, educating the audience on information which had previously been withheld in its time. ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ enlightens further by expounding on the physical and mental trauma of his ‘generation’, questioning age old paradigms on warfare that were ingrained into society. Either elegy gives voice to the brutal…show more content…
He reinforces this further by deluging the audience with commemorations like ‘candles’ and bugles’, their repetition causing them to lose meaning and effect. Owen concludes by focusing on the bereaved, who are left without amends because of the bleak ethics from authority. Comparing a ‘slow dusk’ to the ‘drawing-down of blinds’, the poet symbolises both the way in which blinds are drawn down upon receiving ill news and another ritual for the deceased. This duality emphasises the relationship between the ‘girls’ and their loved ones, evoking a pathetic response from the audience and further incriminates the damage caused from institutions. Owen’s act as the ‘truthful’ poet declassifies sensitive information about the war, allowing the public to make clarified decisions and break free of principles bestowed upon them by authority. ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ stresses the changing time in attempt to shatter millennia worth of texts which had ingrained into society that conflict was ‘sweet’ and ‘honourable’. Prior to World War I, almost every civilization in the world had strong influences from militarism, making it only natural for poets amongst other others to glorify death for one’s country. However, a new era of warfare, enveloped by sickening technology and the introduction of trenches made World War I a terrifying experience for those like Owen, who served on the frontline. By 1917, many

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