Defamiliarization in Relation to Winfred Owen's Poem Anthem for Doomed Youth

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In this Essay I will discuss defamiliarization in relation to Wifred Owen’s poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth”. I will examine how his use of defamiliarization affects the reader in their understanding of the poem. To defamiliarize is to “make (something) unfamiliar or strange” (Definition of Defamiliarize. 29 Nov 2013). This involves making the words seem different to the reader that they have a hidden meaning, it makes it strange to the reader. It encourages the reader to think more about the text and to delve into the depths of the unknown. According to Shklovsky (Lemon and Reis 3-25) the use of defamiliarization encourages perceptibility rather than automatization, the normal ways of viewing the world are …show more content…

This is a comparison of the choir to the shells exploding, that the choir commiserating the death of the soldiers is in fact more destruction and war. It again personifies a weapon of war. It again encourages the reader to consider the implications that war has and how the soldiers who have fallen are commiserated while during the war. It pushes the reader out of their comfort zone and into the harsh world of reality. It enables them to open their eyes to witness all the destruction and devastation that transpires due to war. In line eight the “bugle” is calling from the “sad shires”, this is a metaphor used by Owen to make the readers comprehend the amount of life lost in the towns and villages, all the young men. The “sad shires” are defamiliar to the reader as they do not associate the shires with being sad. In lines nine and ten Owen compares the light from the candles held by the altar boys to the light that is reflected in the dead soldiers eyes, this is a striking comparison as it makes the reader visualize the soldier lying alone and lifeless. This is not something that we usually associate with war. It spurs the reader to think about the rituals performed with death and how will these be performed for the fallen soldiers while they are at war. In line twelve of the poem Owen refers to the “pall” in the coffin, and also to the “pallor of girls’ brows”. In this he replaces the pall in the coffin with the grieving face, that

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