Compare the Ways the Poets Portray War in ‘Attack’ and ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’

Topics: Poetry, Death, The Reader Pages: 3 (918 words) Published: April 14, 2013
Compare the ways the poets portray war in ‘Attack’ and ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ Both ‘Attack’ and ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ portray war negatively, revealing the brutality and indignity of death on the battlefield. ‘Attack’ explores the shock and anger during war suggesting the desperation of the soldiers whereas ‘Anthem’ has a calmer approach expressing the melancholic side of war. Siegried Sassoon uses lists and strong adjectives to convey the despair and horror in ‘Attack’ as well as writing from the point of view of a frustrated onlooker which constructs an uncomfortable atmosphere. Wilfred Owen, however, reflects on the deaths and draws comparison using metaphors. Siegried Sassoon acknowledges the animosity, hopelessness and distress in ‘Attack’. His thoughts are centred on the destruction of humanity due to the overwhelming realisation of the intense fear and the changes of war through time. Sassoon presents the soldiers as ‘Lines of grey, muttering faces’ which illustrates the loss of identity at war. The poet describes the men to be ‘masked with fear’ suggesting the disappearance of personality and a new found anonymity. The poem is a poignant reminder that war destroys what make us human. In addition, the poet uses several adjectives to differentiate the regular setting at home to the strange scenery at war. Siegried Sassoon describes the sun as ‘wild purple’ rather than its usual colour which indicates that there is a level of unfamiliarity. Sassoon includes multiple examples of personification within ‘Attack’ to emphasise that at war, everything is against them. He declares the ‘ridge emerges’ which implies the hill is a monster that is more intimidating as it roams nearer. The poet similarly describes the rising ground as a ‘menacing scarred slope’ which gives the same affect, yet proposes that war has an impact on everything. Even the slope is tarnished with memories. On the contrary, ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ focuses on the conception of a death...
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