Anthem For Doomed Youth By Wilfred Owen

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Wilfred Owen joined the corps in 1915, at the tender age of twenty-two therefore his poems are testimonial, reflecting the gullibility evinced by many of the other young soldiers who fought in the World War. Consequently, Owen’s poems allude to a theme of the loss of innocence in the young soldiers as they were unprepared for the reality of what they would encounter. He also illustrates that the soldiers joined for materialistic reasons (e.g. titles, patronage) spurred in by the fervent propaganda. The presentation of Anthem for Doomed Youth, in a pessimistic and bleak manner, reinforces Owen’s frustration at the misfortune entrenched into the young soldiers lives as a result of the war. Irony is evident through the title, as "youth" and "doomed" are juxtaposed. ‘Youth’ is often associated with optimism and liberty whilst ‘doomed’ imitates inevitable ruin. Consequently, Owen uses this paradox to suggest that these soldiers are prone to lose their youth and are destined to have a bitter future. Furthermore, using the term ‘anthem’ to describe the poem is somewhat satirical as he hints at the prevailing attitude of nationalism which existed during the time of war but where anthems tend to be elevating and celebratory, the tone of this ‘anthem’ is tragic. ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ is a poem that explores the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder and the mistreatment that the soldiers experience even after death. Although, the speaker is disembodied; Owen’s own voice and
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