What is an example of shocking imagery in "Anthem for Doomed Youth"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I believe that you are asking about Owen's use of striking imagery in his powerful, evocative descriptions of the horrors of World War I in "Anthem for Doomed Youth ." "Anthem for Doomed Youth" is arguably one of the most moving war poems ever written. Few poets have gone...

See
This Answer Now

Start your subscription to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your Subscription

I believe that you are asking about Owen's use of striking imagery in his powerful, evocative descriptions of the horrors of World War I in "Anthem for Doomed Youth." "Anthem for Doomed Youth" is arguably one of the most moving war poems ever written. Few poets have gone on to capture the desperation and hopelessness of the violence that characterized the First World War in the same way that Owen has. For me, one of the most powerful images Owen illustrates occurs in the poem's opening line, when Owen brilliantly equates soldiers to cattle lining up to be slaughtered. This devastating line deflates the distended, grotesque glory jingoistic poets of the time attributed to serving in the army, and provides a frank assessment of the situation. These young men were likely not coming back from combat; indeed, Owen himself was killed prior to the end of the war. Therefore, the image of men lining up like cattle is incredibly effective, and shows them as unknowingly marching toward their untimely end.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team