Compare and contrast the poems Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred

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Compare and contrast the poems Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen and The Soldier by Rupert Brooke. What are the poets' attitudes towards war and how do they convey these attitudes? Wilfred Owen's "Anthem for Doomed Youth" and Rupert Brooke's "The Soldier" express opposing views towards war and matters related to it. Owen condemns war as the cause of immense and painful loss of youths, killed like animals. He also attacks the church, generally held to preserve human life and dignity, implying it is powerless and irrelevant in a war situation. Brooke expresses ready acceptance (his view is meant to be the general view) of possible death on his country's behalf in grateful return to her for having "bore, shaped and made aware" him and enriching him spiritually. There is no reference to the horrors and pain of war. Apart from the poets' different attitudes towards war, there are many other differences such as tone, imagery and language. In 'The Soldier', Brooke's sense of indebtedness to his country completely blots out any sense of loss or regret over possible death on her behalf. Brooke doesn't even mention war in his poem. He is ready to give "back the thoughts by England given". He accepts death in war as a suitable repayment to his country for what England has done for him. England has given him birth, her "flowers", "ways to roam", "air", "rivers" and "suns" and made him like every other English person: special, privileged and worthy. In the line "In that rich earth, a richer dust concealed," his is the "richer dust", made by England. Here his physical being created and nurtured by England is gratefully returned to her. His appreciation and gratitude to England ring sincerity as reflected by h... ... middle of paper ... ...f rounding up the sonnet as well as emphasising complete grief over the loss of Youth. The contrast with the first stanza's violence makes the reader see the different aspects of war - what happens on the battlefield, and what happens at home. Owen's poem, 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' is more appealing to me because it deals with two contrasting realities of war. His first stanza highlights the wastefulness of war (deaths of young soldiers) while the second stanza, the mourning for the dead. His sarcastic and later quiet tone reinforce the stark contrast between the different aspects of war. He uses powerful imagery and onomatopoeia to achieve the desired effects that make the poem more realistic. All this combined together produces effective thought provoking ideas and with each read, I gradually get an improved understanding and appreciation of the poem.

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