In "Anthem for Doomed Youth," what is the overall impression of war that the poet is trying to create?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The impression of war that is created is a profoundly negative one. The bitter, strident tone that dominates the poem is created thanks to the question that interrogates the reader at the beginning. Owen asks how the lives of all of these soldiers who are dying in the war will be commemorated. Instead of church services, bells and happy reflections on a life well lived, the legacy of all of this meaningless death is described as follows:

The pallorof girls' brows shall be their pall;

Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,

And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

The death of all the soldiers who are dying in the war expose the true tragic loss of so many young men who are being deprived of a future. The final image of the poem, the "drawing-down of blinds," acts both as a powerful description of the end of the day but also the end of a life that held such potential and such promise. Owen's poem therefore describes his shock, horror and outrage at the sheer loss of life amongst the young men of England.

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