War Is Futile
Wilfred Owen once wrote, “All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful.” Owen’s poetry on war can be described as a passionate outrage over the horrors of war and pity for the young soldiers sacrificed in it. By combining gruesome images, effective similes and a range of other poetic techniques Owen evokes an appalling picture that war is futile because soldiers were dying meaninglessly. These messageswere sent to his readers through many of his poems including “Anthem for Doomed Youth”, “Dulce Et Decorum Est” and “Futility” which also negate the idea of war and show war’s brutality and uselessness.
In “Anthem for Doomed Youth” Owen reveals to his audience that war is useless as the soldiers were dying senselessly. The very title “Anthem for Doomed Youth” with anthems usually being associated with love and passion is very deliberately ironic. Owen uses the word “Youth” to remind the reader that these soldiers were only young men, with their whole lives ahead of them but their lives have now been ruined pointless due to the futility war. The poem starts off at a quick pace, and then continues to decelerate throughout the poem, drawing to slow; solemn and somber close, which creates the picture of horrendous mass burial and butchery of war. In addition, in the opening line “what passing bells for these who die as cattle?” uses similes to conjure up the image multitudes of soldiers being slaughtered and the nature of war to be full of mass deaths. It creates the ghastly image in Owen mind that the men being treated as less than human and dying without dignity. The poem highlights how unfortunate war is and the sacrifice of human life particularly young soldiers.
Owen continues his use of imagery to portray the horrific way in which these soldiers depart from this world and they do not even receive a proper funeral. Instead, these