Wilfred Owen's Poetry

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Wilfred Owen establishes a sense of conflict in his poetry, this is depicted in “Anthem for Doomed Youth” and in “Dulce et Decorum est”. There are a number of themes in Owen’s poems, which all relate to the war. The poems focus on the allied soldier’s experiences and the impact the war had on them. The environments that Owen mentions in his poetry include the battlefield in France and the small towns in England. Owen’s poetry has many types of conflicts which include conflicts in the environment, inner conflict and conflict from others. The purpose of the poems was to reveal that the war was horrific and cruel. Owen had hoped that his poems would convince people in England, not to support the war.

“Anthem for Doomed Youth” depicts a descriptive image of the monstrosity of war and the grief that the families and the soldiers experienced. It can be easily distinguished from many of his other works, as it is a sonnet. By using a sonnet, a touch of irony is used. The conventional function for a sonnet is love, but this sonnet has a theme of a love that has turned bad. The young male population have so much patriotic love and are so eager to serve, but this love turns sour. They spend time rotting in the wastes of the trenches, only to be mown down by a machine gun nest. Not only are their lives wasted, gone without the holy ritual of funeral, but the lives of their loved ones at home are also ruined. Throughout this poem, the traditional feel of an English style funeral is constantly compared and contrasted to the ways in which the men died in the war.

The title “Anthem for Doomed Youth”, with anthem usually being associated with praise and celebrating is deliberately ironic. The word “doomed” suggests that the soldiers are alive, but have no hope of surviving. It symbolises death and conjures up the image that the soldiers are on their journey to hell. The word “youth” is used to remind the audience of the actual age of these soldiers. The “men” that fought...
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