Compare and contrast the poems Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Essay

Compare and contrast the poems Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Essay

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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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