Message of Anthem for Doomed Youth

Topics: Sonnet, John Keats, Poetry Pages: 2 (639 words) Published: May 21, 2012
What is the message of ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ and how is it conveyed? In the sonnet ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ Wilfred Owen conveys the message of the pointlessness of slaughter of generations of young men in the war. Owen conveys the message by the use of an irony, personification, religious imagery and the mockery of religion. The title, appearing to make the poem seem as an ‘anthem’ is deliberately ironic. As an anthem is normally a song of praise or a song played at a special event but as soon as the reader continues reading we see that there is no prise or special event. The word ‘doomed’ also gives the poem a negative, gloomy feeling. This giving us the feeling that the poem is about a fate that humans can not reverse. Then the word ‘youth’ completes the negative title as it tells us that the youths are doomed by death. Irony is also used with the poem structured as a sonnet. Back in 1917 sonnets were mainly written as love poem, so at first glance of the poem the reader may think the poem will be about love. As we continue reading the poem we realise that the poem isn’t about love but is about death. This makes Owen’s poem stand out from the rest. Owen uses personification in his sonnet to portray the weapons as alive and more deadly sounding, “monstrous anger of the guns”. This giving the poem a more sinister tone, making the reader realise that Owen is angry. This also makes the reader feel sorry and scared for the soldiers and what is going on at the battlefield. It also makes us able to picture and hear the weapons come alive ‘stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle’. Religious imageries are used in the sonnet to show the religious ways of the people at home compared with what religious customs that are shown on the battlefield for soldiers. “Passing-bells” which is an old custom that symbolises death at home is replaced on the battlefield with “stuttering rifles”. It also tells the reader that on the battlefield the soldiers are shown no customary deaths,...
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