Wilfred Owen's Use Of Personification In Anthem For Doomed Youth

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War is not heroic. War is sickness, struggle, and death. This is the message that poet and World War I soldier Wilfred Owen wanted to instill in his people back home. Those back home talked of glory and national pride and rooted for their soldiers, however, they were unaware of the horrors these soldiers witnessed and experienced. The soldiers and their people back home were not only separated by distance but by mental barriers, which Owen showcases in his poetry. Owen’s use of personification in “Anthem for Doomed Youth” degrades the soldiers to objects to show how the war dehumanized them to intentionally create a disconnect between the audience and the soldiers. Owen manifests the soldiers’ ferocious emotions through their guns to demonstrate the dehumanization they experienced when killing someone. When Wilfred says “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? / - Only the monstrous anger of the guns,” it strips the soldiers of their identity and humanity just as killing someone in war did to them (1-2). By taking away the soldiers’ identities and channeling their emotions through their weaponry and deeming them “monstrous” it makes it more difficult for the audience to develop a personal connection to the soldiers and their feelings, which is exactly what Owen wants. People back home during the war could not possibly relate or put themselves in the shoes of these soldiers, which Owen highlights to the reader through this method. To be able to kill someone, they had

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