Tone in Anthem for Doomed Youth
A Mix of Satire and Sincerity: Throughout the poem, Owen satirically contrasts the imagery of battle with solemn funerary rites to illustrate the incompatibility of religion and combat. In the first stanza for example, the tone is satirical; the soldiers fight and die without receiving the proper religious commemoration for their sacrifice, their deaths marked by gunfire instead of bells, and the burial rites of the Church are described as “mockeries.” In the second stanza, the tone shifts from satire to sincerity. The “sad shires” lack the means to bury their honored dead, without the traditional items for funerary rights. However, this lack reveals genuine grief, which is powerful and original.