Anthem for Doomed Youth – Wilfred Owen

What can we determine/understand about the writer of this text?

“What passing-bells for these who die as cattle.” This quote tells the reader how much Wilfred Owen dislikes war. The passing-bells reference the bells rung at churches to signify a death or multiple deaths. These who die as cattle shows that he feels the soldiers who leave to go to war are like cattle going to the slaughter house.

What words have been chosen to influence the text?

Wilfred uses a lot of words which reference death or funerals. “Passing bells” this references the bell rung to signify someone’s death to the world. “Bugles” trumpet like instrument which is played at military funerals. I think he used these words to ward of or scare the youth, who would be doomed to the fate of death, if the joined the war.

What language features have been chosen to influence the text?

Wilfred Owen uses alliteration to describe guns in war. “Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle” This alliteration tells the reader that guns were constant during the war, never ceasing. “Hasty orisons,” orison means prayer and prayers are supposed to be quiet reflections. Making them hasty prayers gives a sense of frantic cries to God. Oxymoron’s are used to create a sense of “something ain’t right here.”

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