Wilfred Owen Essay

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l Wilfred Owens poetry Essay
How are Wilfred Owen’s main themes and concerns conveyed through his poetry? Refer to two poems to support your response.
Wilfred Owen was a soldier who wrote poems to raise awareness of the reality of war into the public consciousness. Having experienced the harsh impacts of war in first person Wilfred wished to create a negative perception of war “my subject is war and the pity of war”, “the poetry is the pity”. His purpose was to inform, awaken & enlighten the audience about the brutality of war.
The focus about the horror of death in war is continued in Owen’s poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth” but it is in a more somber tone, and he shows us a sadder more pitiful image of death in the trenches, compared to Dulce ET Decorum Est.’s pure fury. Anthem for Doomed youth is a sonnet, structured into an octave and a sestet. This divides the poem into its core themes. The first stanza shows a tone of misery & horror which then shifts into a tone of compassion and sympathy in the second stanza. This tonal shift also highlights the different contexts of funerals, one at battle, with no grieving or rituals and one at home, with mourning and respect.
Anthem for doomed youth is a poem that attempts to recreate the dehumanizing, wasteful deaths of war in an attempt to shock the audience. Owen explores the reactions of those at home and has genuine sympathy for their grief and helplessness.
The lost generation of youth are compared to those “who die as cattle”, an alarming and memorable image of slaughter. The use of the very negative “doomed” contrasts with the positive expectations associated with the “anthem”. Owen maintains the religious reference replacing “prayers” and “bells” with “bugles” and “shells”. Thus the Christian sounds associated with burial are replaced with the harsh…...

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