Presentation on theme: "Wilfred Owen. SUMMARY “Anthem for Doomed Youth” has two sections, each beginning with a question that the remainder of the section answers. It has a strict."— Presentation transcript:
SUMMARY “Anthem for Doomed Youth” has two sections, each beginning with a question that the remainder of the section answers. It has a strict pattern of rhythm and rhyme. There is an octet (8 lines) and a sestet (6 lines). The octet is dominated by the sound of battle. The sestet is characterised by muted grief. Linking these two sections is the sound of the bugle. The irony here is in the fact that a sonnet is a lyrical poem usually associated with romance. However, this poem is the complete opposite – it underlines the psychological trauma of the war and the poor treatment the soldiers receive.
THEME/MESSAGE Owen’s poem compares the death of men at war to a traditional English funeral. In the poem, the noise of battle gives way to silent grief. Young men who should have lived died in the chaos of battle. Those who lost loved ones were not present at the deaths or burials of their young men. In place of the usual funeral rites, sounds of battle, distant grief and nature’s close of day were what they had to mark their deaths. Throughout the poem, Owen employed imagery to bring to life the sorrow and horror of war – by describing the sounds and sights, by comparing a fitting funeral to the reality of death in war and by questioning the sufficiency of religion to provide solace in the face of such brutality.
Oxymoron The title “Anthem for doomed youth” is ironic because it has "youth" and "doomed" next to each other. Youth represents naivety, freedom and a long life ahead and doomed pretty much means the opposite. Therefore it is a contradiction. Owen is pointing out that the young men who are sent to war have no hope for the future and inevitably will lose their youth regardless of whether they return alive.
QUESTION 1: “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?” Owen criticises that soldiers are treated as expendable objects rather than valuable, thinking people. Their death is compared to the slaughter of animals – senseless and dehumanising. Simile!
QUESTION 2: “Only the monstrous anger of the guns.” Identify the language technique used in Line 2 and explain the effect. Personification Monstrous has connotations of- evil, horror (emotive language) “anger of the guns” – the anger of the enemy soldiers is transferred into their weapons, personifying the guns that become “angry”. Instead of a bell, calling people to mourn for the lives of these individuals, the sound is one of “monstrous anger”. The anger is misplaced – transferred onto the weapons which spit their hatred at the soldiers. To be monstrous also suggests that the sound is loud, as if a huge monster is roaring angrily. The main effect is that readers can visualise the emotional intensity and violence which soldier’s experience at war.
QUESTION 3: “Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle” Discuss the effect of the alliteration used in line 3. Alliteration and onomatopoeia are used to imitate the sound of the guns – harsh, repetitive. The repeated “t” sound in “stuttering”, “rattle” and “patter” imitate the short, hard sound of the bullets being fired. The repeated “r” sound suggests the rapidity and frequency of the shots. This allows readers to clearly hear as well as visualise the chaotic sounds of battle. It also allows readers an understanding of why soldiers nerves are so fragile. Their physical environment was a place of constant danger which traumatised soldiers mentally.
COMPARISONS: Traditional Funeral / Religious Ceremonies Death on the Battlefield Church bells announcing death Prayers for the deceased Choirs singing at a funeral Candles held by young boys Pall, velvet cloth covering coffin Flowers Drawing down of blinds out of respect and mourning. Gunfire Rifle fire Demented choirs of wailing shells Light reflected in dead soldiers’ eyes The pale, mourning faces of young girls Kind, mourning thoughts of loved ones Each slow dusk falling on the battlefield
EXTENDED PARAGRAPH: Write a response to the following question. Describe an interesting technique used in this poem. Explain why Owen has used this technique and how it helps reinforce the main message or purpose of the poem. Try to include context and details about Owen’s life in your response. You must support your ideas with evidence from the poem. Try to make a comparison with Dulce Et Decorum Est.