Anthem For Doomed Youth - Understanding - Sonnet
Where and when - France, First World War, written in a mental institution – October 1917. Place or Characters - sounds loud and sad “what passing-bells for these who die as cattle” “only the monstrous anger of the guns”. Situation - Death in the trenches, youth being killed & amongst the war, buried without the trappings of a home. Highlighting the youth, “not in the hands of boys but in their eyes” “The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall”. Themes - Death, War, Loss of identity (cattle), Rejection of religion (no mockeries here). Analysis
Simile – “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?” Personification – “monstrous anger of the guns” (comparison of guns to angry humans)“The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells(shells - demented, screaming humans & mourners)” Metaphor – Used to show the mourning at home: “holy glimmers of goodbyes” “The pallor of girls brows shall be their pall” the pall that covers a casket “Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds” The flowers that rest on soldiers graves. Alliteration – “rifles’ rapid rattle”. Onomatopoeia – “Can patter out their hasty orisons” (orisons – funeral prayers), “The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells” “stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle” Symbolism – “What passing-bells for those who die as cattle” Cattle being led to the slaughter – the young men and the young men as cattle, no name just a number, also cattle slaughtered to feed the hunger, young men slaughtered in their droves to feed a hungry war. Imagery – vivid images created using extensive sound devices especially alliteration “riffles’ rapid rattle” “sad shires” shows where many of the young men are from. Rejection of religion comparison for the normal funeral and death on the western front “no mockeries now for them: no prayers or bells” “What candles may be held to speed them all?” “drawing-down of blinds” something that is done when someone dies, paints a...
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