frontline in the first stanza with the calm peaceful life in the hometowns of the soldiers. In order to achieve this Owen usesonomatopoeia, for example,
“The shrill, demented choirs of wailingshells”
. Owen uses two rhetorical questions at the start of eachstanza symbolizing the contrast he has made between the frontlineand the home front. The poem describes how spirituality is lost in themidst of battle and war, there are no religious ceremonies for thedead and there is no recognition for their deaths. Owen shows hisbitterness toward the war and his compassion for the soldiers. Thispoem expresses the senseless waste of human life and how theyoung men who have gone to war in order to live up to the standardsset by society have passed away without recognition. As Owen says,they “die as cattle”.
concentrates on the effect that sending men to the warhad on the public. The poem describes the sending-off of troops tothe front.
The troops have just come from a sending-off ceremony withcheering crowds, bells, drums, flowers given by strangers and now they arebeing packed into trains for an unknown destination. Owen truly affected thepublic with this poem as many people could not bear to watch a train movingaway because this reminded them of a last meeting. The poem is eerie andsomewhat scary as it describes the way in which soldiers would be packed intotrains and sent to their deaths. The train awaits for the soldiers, usually one hasto wait for the train, this indicates that there is something sinister about thistrain. Owen describes the atmosphere, the “dull porters” watch the men go intothe train as if it were a routine, everything happens smoothly and wellorganized, they are being efficiently taken to the horrors of war where many of them will never return from. Owens use of pronouns diminishes the soldier’sindividuality as they are all being driven into the train like cattle, as in
Anthemfor Doomed Youth
. The poem has a rocking motion like that of a train, the dullsystematic motion contrasts with what the soldiers will encounter at the front.Owen depicts the scene as an organized routine like that of a slaughter house,the tone of the poem is not exiting. The fact that the individuals that constitute