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Anthem for Doomed Youth and the Man I Killed

  • Date Submitted: 01/27/2010 11:08 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.1 
  • Words: 530
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    A man by the name of Wilfred Owen once wrote a poem while he was at war by the name of “Anthem For Doomed Youth.” In this poem Owen speaks of death on the battle field and convey’s that war doesn’t end without losses and that those left behind are mourned very little, if at all, by the people around them. In this short 1st person poem Owen uses Personification, for example, “The Shrill demented choirs of wailing shells.”I believe that the stanza itself means, when tied to the poem, that when these soldiers die that the only thing that will be singing for them are the shells of guns that have fallen just as they have.   Owen’s giving of emotions and life to these deadly weapons tell that even though people are fighting against people the only ones that are killing and dying are guns and the soldiers too slow to save themselves.

Likewise a man by the name of Tim O’Brien also wrote something about the effects of war except this time it was in the form of a short story by the name, “The Man I Killed.” In this short story O’Brien uses repetition, for example, “His jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and teeth were gone, his one eye was shut, his other eye was a star shaped hole...” This, though gruesome and rather brutal, seeks to imprint this image in your mind and help you see what the narrating character is seeing. O’Brien’s use of these particular lines seem to give off a sense of dread that seems to get worse when compared to several things. This story, as opposed to “Anthem For Doomed Youth”, takes us into the mind of a single character and how he is effected by the man he killed, instead of the generality “Anthem For Doomed Youth” gives. The repetition feeds the thought that people sometimes freeze up during war after they see death for the first time or are the cause of it.

When looking at this poem and this short story I can’t help but see several similarities between them. They both share strong imagery, Poem: “...But in...


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