Commentary for "Anthem for Doomed Youth"

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Commentary on ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’

In World War 1, many soldiers died without any funerals. They just died out with their mates in the war sight. This poem, “Anthem for Doomed Youth”, was written in 1917 in France during World War 1. The author talks about the young soldiers who died during the war without any funerals. As he also was one of the soldiers in the battlefield, he wanted to commemorate the soldiers who have sacrificed for the country and remember their devotions.

First of all, in the title, the word ‘youth’ and ‘doomed’, two very opposite words are put together to emphasize that the youth being doomed is very wrong. As this idea is stated within the title, it is the main idea of this poem. This poem has two main stanzas consisting of 8 and 6 lines. The first stanza is about what is actually happening in the war or what might have happened in the war. This ‘what’ mainly focuses on the fact that the young soldiers did not get to have proper funerals. In the first line, the author uses the word ‘passing-bells’, which stands for the funeral. In England, it was a custom to ring a bell when a person was dying. The people who heard it would stop and pray for that person’s soul. There also are words like bells, orisons and choirs that describe the church or the funeral. On the other hand, words like guns, rifles, wailing shells, and bugles describe the war sight or the military itself. The second stanza is mainly what the author wants to tell us. He not only shows us his grief and sorrow towards the soldiers, but also wants to remember their deaths and honour their sacrifice. In the first line, a question form of a sentence was used to shift the focus of the readers and to get them thinking. The ‘candle’, ‘pall’, ‘flower’, and ‘holy’ are the words that depict the funeral of these poor soldiers. Metaphor is used, too, to describe the grief of the ‘girls’ at home with the absent ‘pall.’ Another metaphor can be the ‘flowers.’ The dead soldiers would...
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