Poetic Techniques In Anthem For Doomed Youth

Decent Essays
Wilfred Owen, having participated in the war, sought to express his own experiences to everyone. In his poetry, Wilfred Owen expresses the outrages and horrors of war and the compassion for soldiers who sacrifice their lives. Throughout the use of poetic techniques, Owen manages to convey the barbarism of the war with extreme realism and evoke in the reader much more than disgust and sympathy. Through the use of poetic techniques, he allows the reader to empathize with his situation, thoughts, and emotions. Owen expresses himself with a dramatic and memorable voice; he manages to render imagery that is startling and emotionally-profound and convey horror and dismay of war. These poetic techniques can be seen in the three poems ‘Anthem for Doomed…show more content…
Through the use of the simile of the man dying 'as cattle,' he establishes the main theme of the sonnet: men at war all die the same, their deaths are unnatural and dehumanizing. Repetition of “only”, “no” and “not” emphasizes the way the young men have been denied a respectful death. The poem juxtaposes the ritual of a traditional funeral with the horror of death on the front to highlight the enormous contrast between the two situations. A series of images from a funeral are contrasted with “guns”, “shells” and the pale faces of grieving lovers; the final image is “a drawing- down of blinds”. In order to convey his message, he uses many sound effects. He describes the rifles are 'rapidly rattling' this use of alliteration and onomatopoeia simultaneously portrays a clear image in the head of the reader of what the soldiers went through. Lexis and semantics also effectively portray the horror of war. Owen very carefully chooses the wording in the poem to explain the atrocities that are going on- ‘die as cattle’ is one of these as it shows as mentioned previously that they are treated as animals. Further on, the use of the personification ‘monstrous anger of the gun’ is used giving the guns a powerful, negative connotation to express and evoke the anger. Owen is successfully used imagery to engage the…show more content…
The poem describes the scene of a soldier that is overcome by the gas, the scene is horrifying. The poem starts with a group of soldier who limp back from the front line towards the rest of the camp. Owen utilizes the simile "Bent double like old beggars under sacks" to create a shocking image of the effect that war has had on the physical and emotional state of the men. To evoke, not only the sights but sounds of the battlefield he uses the onomatopoeia “knock-kneed”,“coughing”, “hoots” which discomfort his audience. The simile "His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin" elevate the evil nature of the gas attack and war itself. In order to picture the image of the suffering soldier, Owen uses many similes: “If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth corrupted lungs,” “Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud,” “Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues". Through these similes, Owen portrays a sensory imagery of the wounded soldier that is both graphic and visceral. At the end of the poem, he juxtaposes “The old Lie; Dulce est pro patria mori” with the irony "Dulce et Decorum Est". This phrase, the title is a reference from Horace's Odes, it could outline something brave but the title's meaning is ironic; If you could personally witness the horror of death on the front line, you would abandon the traditional patriotic ideas about the nobility of dying for your
Get Access