A Concise Commentary on Anthem for Doomed Youth
"Anthem for Doomed Youth" is an elegy in which Wilfred Owen conveys his heart felt sadness and disgust for the loss of life in World War I. This poem shatters the fantasized images of war by juxtaposing the opposite worlds of reality and the romanticized rhetoric that distorts it. He writes about the true experience of military death, and effectively expresses these powerful sentiments in only fourteen lines by use of a somewhat violent imagery that is compounded by the constant comparison of reality to myth.
The poem is intriguingly entitled, "Anthem for Doomed Youth." Beginning with the title, Owen places his words into a context that contrasts with his message. An anthem is usually a patriotic song of a group of people, country, or nation as a means to honor it, such as in the National Anthem.
An anthem is a song that is supposed to conjure up feelings of chauvinism, and love for one's country or group. Here in America, our National Anthem especially reminds us of the soldier, who is constantly juxtaposed with the image of the" Star Spangled Banner". The National Anthem is thought to be something that is synonymous with praise for one's country and support of its troops. For Owen to name his poem "Anthem for Doomed Youth" implies that those Doomed Youth have no other anthem to honor them. Owen is saying that the experience of the dying youth is not the one that is conveyed in the National Anthem. His argument is that his poem expresses the true sentiment of the dying youth of war.
In the first sentence, Owen begins describing what he views as the authentic image of war by use of an eye-catching analogy. This...