Without a doubt, every single person understands that war is in fact brutal. Wilfred Owen's poems concerning WWI offer the responder a unique personal response as Owen was actually on the battlefield as an Army lieutenant. For Owen brutality came in numerous forms; the loss of life, as demonstrated in Anthem for Doomed Youth the indescribable suffering, the futility of the fighting and as a result his poetry reflected a deep personal response to his experiences of the war, giving valuable insight into what Owen sees as the true horror of war.
In particular Owen's poem Anthem for Doomed Youth portrays the horror of the war by giving vivid images of the extensive loss of lives. By the title the audience is made aware of the horrible juxtaposition in which war has placed these young men.
Owen chooses Anthem, a Christian song of praise, which signifies uplifting religious prayers and links it with the epithet "doomed youth". This sonnet takes this concept and ironically uses the form to point to the loss of a whole generation of youth due to war, instantly gives the responder the sense that the content of the poem is of serious nature.
Through the use of rhetorical questions complied with dramatic imagery "what passing bells for those who die as cattle?" an alarming and memorable image of slaughter, here Owen compares the death of these men to the slaughter of cattle. Owen attempts to recreate the dehumanising, wasteful deaths of war in an attempt to shock the audience, and give the readers back on the home front, insight into the ferociousness of the situation.
Owen has been able to capture the enormity of the deaths. This can be seen in the anonymous deaths caused by the "monstrous anger of the guns" Here Owen asserts the wasteful nature of the war. Owen further emphasises this idea of war killing the young with his use of "boys" and "girls" in the poem's conclusion.
The final metaphor, which completes the poem, is that of the "drawing down of blinds", this very ordinary image is dramatic in its simplicity.