Overall Analysis of Anthem of the Doomed Youth
Anthem of the doomed youth by Wilfred Owen is a poem about the death of many soldiers during World War 1 and how their deaths were not ceremonious but tragic and unpleasant in far off countries. A parody arises between those who die as cattle without the ceremonies of a Christian funeral ‘no prayers nor bells’ instead there funeral service is the ‘stuttering of rifles’ and the ‘choirs of wailing shells’. The dead are not put to rest in coffins, in church ceremonies celebrating their life or laid to rest in a peaceful cemeteries in their home country with family and friend mourning their loss, putting flowers and wreaths over their graves. Instead soldiers die in the battlefield, in foreign country’s far away from home, surrounded by a noisy battlefields and trenchers where people run past and over them in the events of war. They are often surrounded by death and exposed to the elements, the repeated firing of weapons and artillery shells making shrieking noises and landing killing more soldiers. As the war progressed and time passed the opinion of war by people at home started to change, this was due to the prolonged nature of war and the increasing death toll of many young soldiers. The war went from being a great thing for young men to do, an adventure that was for the good of the mother country, the king, god and the home land, to being the cause of many young deaths and tragic loss to families and home. The patriotism shifted. Friends and family that loved the solders will forever mourn their death, it will be more permanent than when people mourn because of cultural convention, “ the pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall; their flowers the tenderness of patients minds, and each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds” . The poem also suggests that World War 1 should not be celebrated and welcomed. This is because of all the violence leading to death and suffering of soldiers “who die as cattle”. The poet tells us that war is not fun and adventurous like people thought at the start. Instead it was a unpleasant experience for their family, friends and comrades would die on the battlefield and would not brought home to be buried in their home country in front of friends and family’s.