Wilfred Owen's Anthem for Doomed Youth Analysis Essay

777 Words Nov 15th, 2012 4 Pages
Wilfred Owen's Anthem for a Doomed Youth is exactly that, an anthem ( a solemn song) to commemorate the innocent youth, whose lives were taken to soon by war. By using the word anthem, he calls to mind the glory and honor of a national anthem, however; he goes on to explain that there is no honor or glory in death, pairing the words doomed and youth together creates so much sorrow as well, it provides a woeful impression as it foretells of young people having no hope. Written in sonnet form, it is an elegy for the dead. The octave deals with auditory images of war and death and the sestet deals with more visual images. Wilfred Owen masterfully uses both imagery and figurative language to convey his lament for these young people who died. …show more content…
Owen gives the sonnet a powerful, negative connotation from the very beginning.He implies with this phrase a dehumanization of the soldiers as well as the fact that war causes human beings to treat each other as less than human. In line three, the reader can hear the sound imagery of the "stuttering rifles' rapid rattle". The word "anger" in line 2 also emphasizes the destructive hatred of war. "Choirs of wailing shells" is a powerful metaphor in line 7 contrasting the world of war and the world of God.
For the rest of the poem various religious images abound. For example, the word candles would call to mind the church candles, but they also mean the candles lit in rooms where coffins lie. "Holy glimmers of goodbyes" (line 9) combines religious imagery with the idea of death. In the pallor half rhyme of line 11, these two words combine in one line to show the seriousness of the situation. Young people are dying in war, and it is tragic. The "flowers" of line 11 are also a double-edged sword. Flowers are given on very happy, momentous occasions, but they are also in abundance at solemn occasions like funerals. Furthermore, Owen compares the events of war to traditional burial rituals and describes how those who die in war do not receive proper funerals. In the first stanza, Owen references the “monstrous anger of guns” to “passing-bells” and “rifles’ rapid rattle” to “hasty orisons”. Usually
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