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Attack by Siegfried Sassoon; Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilf

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James Peach

on 4 February 2016

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Transcript of Attack by Siegfried Sassoon; Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilf

Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen
Attack by Siegfried Sassoon; Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen
Attack by Siegfried Sassoon
Attack by Siegfried Sassoon is a poem that reveals the harshness and realness of war. The overall theme of the poem is that it's an attack that slowly builds up suspense. Each line paints a different picture in the readers mind. Sassoon starts it by describing the setting, “In the wild purple of the glowing sun,” Sassoon uses nature to describe the beauty of the setting, this then contrasts with the following lines that describe the horror of the battlefield.
Owen begins with a bitter tone as he asks rhetorically what "passing bells" of mourning will sound for those soldiers who get slaughtered like cattle. They are not granted the rituals of good men. They do not get real prayers, only rifle fire. Their only "choirs" are of "shells and bugles". This first set of imagery is violent, featuring weapons and harsh noises (Onomatopoeia) of war.
Both authors of these poems wrote about the war because
they wanted people to realise that war wasn't a good thing, all it
brought about was pain, suffering and it killed a lot of people
unnecessarily. They want to prove the stereotypes, that war is an adventure, wrong.
Religious connotations
Each poem has religious connotations that relate to Christianity. This is seen in the line "O Jesus, make it stop" (in Attack) and "Passing-Bells" (in Anthem For Doomed Youth). These connotations relate to the needless death of each man, and how they have served god and are ready for their passing. Both poets are English born Christians that served as officers during the war.
Both Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon were involved with this war,
fighting for their country. The poems that they wrote about the war
told of their experiences and in attack some of the terrible things
they both saw and had to do.

Attack is more factual than Anthem for Doomed Youth and the emotion doesn't come until the end when you can hear, as if you are in a neighboring trench, "Jesus make it stop!" In Anthem For Doomed Youth you can sense Owens anger throughout the poem by sensing the bitterness in which he asks, in a sarcastic manor, "What passing bells for these who die as cattle?"
Structural Differences
Anthem for Doomed Youth is written as a sonnet and is a very serious and sad poem. It is written as an extended metaphor, as if war is like a funeral. There are very few references to actual war. Owen uses alliteration "Stuttering rifles rapid rattle" and religious connotations, "Orisons...Choirs...Bells". He does not talk about blood and gore. He uses a very formal style and states his opinion more subtly than Sassoon.
Anthem for Doomed Youth describes the lack of a funeral for the dead soldiers, whereas Attack outlines the setting of soldiers physically battling in the war to survive. For example the line "They leave their trenches, going over the top" in Attack, suggests that the soldiers are currently risking their lives. However in Anthem, Owen refers to the deceased soilders, robbed of a funeral and their life.
The dead & The living
Factual & Emotional
Thank You For Listening

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