The very title that Wilfred Owen chose for his war poem, 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' is an apt representation of what he wanted the poem to encapsulate and the emotions he wanted to evoke in the readers. The word 'anthem' and 'doomed youth' is a stark juxtaposition when placed in the same sentence. An anthem is supposed to be something revered, something that represents the glory of a country and is bursting with national pride. However, when placed right before the words 'doomed youth' we get the impression that Owen is indirectly trying to question the glory and honour that most associate with war. Is it really right that we would strip youth of their lives, their dignity and their future on the pretext of defending the country? In fact. the very phrase doomed youth is a juxtaposition in itself as youth is supposed to be the prime of one's life. It is supposed to be filled with life, hope and endless possibilities. Instead this phrase paints a grim picture of a non-existent future for youth, stamped out by the violence and horrors of war. This thought-provoking poem deals with the delicate balance between what reality is and what it should be.
The main theme of this poem in my opinion, is the brutality of war. However, this brutality is not found in the physical killings. Rather, it's a very different kind of brutality - one more subtle but horrific all the same. It lies in how war snuffs out young lives and inhumanely kills the dreams, the hopes and the endless possibilities that these lives could have become. The reader gets the impression that Owen sees war as futile and cruel. This is because the whole poem is shrouded by this deep sadness and frustration, due to Owen viewing the war as a heinous crime, robbing youth of their lives. Each young person should have had the freedom to chart out their path in life, and to live their lives to the fullest. Instead, their lives are snuffed out in the gore and horrors of the... [continues]
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