Effects of War in "Dulce et Decorum est" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth" by Wilfred Owens

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As a poet, Wilfred Owens wants to show the effects of warfare from the viewpoint of a soldier during a War. Owens uses his own experience as a fighter to capture the reader’s attention and get across his point. He often uses graphic imagery and words to depict his thoughts about war. Wilfred Owens, poems, “Dulce et Decorum est” and “Anthem for doomed youth” talk blatantly about the effects of warfare on the soldiers, their loved ones, and those who make an ultimate sacrifice by making a statement about the efficacy of war.
In both the poems he shows and discusses death in warfare and its effects, which are far reaching. In “Dulce et Decorum est” the point of death is shown in a real light, Owens uses strong imagery to connect us to these soldiers and their plight for survival in World War I. I think the line that shows the reader this aspect is, “He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning” (16). Owens paints the graphic scene of a dying soldier during a gas raid. Owens deliberately makes the scene graphic in order to gain the reader’s attention, and keep them reading. In “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” Owens never brings up the word war or the name of any country in particular; he does this so that every war can be applicable to the poem. Owens also does this so that the topic that all wars are horrible comes into play. He personally takes the stance, that we as humans have not done anything to change the fate of the dying soldiers and he expounds upon it. “No mockeries now for them, no prayers nor bells; / Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, – / The shrill demented choirs of wailing shells.” (5-7) In this line Owens talks about how these boys/men have no proper ceremony for their death. Shells from bombs and guns replace t...

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...viously pronounces that war is a waste of human life and energy.
In the thick of a war Owens wants the reader to know that these young men are giving their lives, for nothing that is worth dying over. He showed though out both of these poems that war is grim and pointless. Although Owens thought war was not worth the ultimate sacrifice of death, he still fought in World War I. He did so because so many men his age were pushed to fight in the war. Owens eventually died in the war one week before the war ended, he ended up living the old lie “Dulce et decorum est /Pro patria mori” (27-28).

Works Cited

Gioia, Dana, and X.J. Kennedy, eds. Literature An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Writing. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print.
Owens, Wilfred. “Anthem for Doomed Youth.” Gioia and Kennedy 1115-1116
Owens, Wilfred. “Dulce et Decorum est.” Gioia and Kennedy 709-710
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