Birdsong attempted to convey the unsurpassable in the depiction for the Somme in a very impactful way. Faulks presents this part of the novel in 1916, which was during the battle of the Somme. ‘Anthem for doomed youth’, a poem written by Wilfred Owen either in 1916 or after 1916 was seen as a poem who also attempted to convey the unsurpassable in the depiction for the Somme but it did succeeded in its point as far as birdsong did because it captures the readers thoughts all in one, as the poem is more neatly knitted together, clearly stating imagery, mood and tone.
Faulks presents from page 224 to the end of part two of the novel in a very dramaticful way. Faulks has clearly described how each character feels, from their quotation to the way faulks has described them in a certain situation. ‘Anthem for doomed youth’ took a different approach and opens the poem describing about what the soldiers did during the war than opening the stanza by describing the feelings and thoughts of the soldiers before the starting of the war.However, birdsong being a novel starts the scene in a patterned way, first the feelings of the soldiers before the war, during and after.
On the other hand, Wilfred Owen took a completely different approach and opens with a sharp opening stanza, with shocking animalistic imagery. Birdsong and anthem for doomed youth can be compared and contrasted in different perspective.As birdsong is used to described about Stephen himself and his feelings but Owen uses anthem for doomed young to point out his opinions of the war than about others feelings or thoughts, even through his poems are said to be emotional or compassionate, which was considerers by another poet Jon Silkin who pointed out that we need to feel clearly about each emotion a solider goes through and that distance and impartiality don’t solve the problem. This is something faulks is aiming to do, talking each scene step at a time and does succeeded in the depiction of the Somme.
Tension is clearly stated at the start of the Somme scene in the birdsong novel ‘no one spoke. There was for once no sound of birds’, we can see tension is slowly increasing among themselves as everything is quite and the phrase’ no sound of birds’ presents nature and how the image of death will destroy nature among everyone. However, the poem does talk does talk bout nature but is a more animalistic imagery, ‘what passing-bells for these who die at cattle?.The description is more barbaric and harsh, but then again it does not fit well because the starting stanza talks about what the soldiers did ‘only the monstrous anger of guns’, they killed people which may and can be seen as a animalistic thing.
Even though the first stanza starts with a negative sharp question it does make the reader get straight involved into the poem and gets them thinking. Then again this is pretty similar to birdsong as it also has animalistic imagery and gets the readers attention with full impact. The second stanza of the poem anthem for doomed youth is more to do with imagery’s of religion.Owen uses this stanza to mention about what the soldiers thought the use of religion in birdsong we can see the soldiers emotions and thoughts.
‘The shrill, dementer choirs of wailing shells’, as the soldiers see religion as only hope and luck, this is similar to birdsong because it also uses the points on the soldiers ‘clasping a sliver cross’ as a sign of hope so he may want to hold onto it tightly so he doesn’t loose hope. Faulks also does mention on the soldiers loosing hope ‘he did not pray’, many soldiers may have lost hope because they may think everything around them will be destroyed and there no hope of them staying alive also.This can also be slightly compared to the way ‘anthem for doomed youth’ relates to loosing hope ‘bangles calling for them from sad shires’, the government calling for them sad shires’, the government calling more men from their sad homes, hearing about hundreds of men dying in the war, and this will bring the down in loosing hope thinking they may never see their family again. In the last stanza of anthem for doomed young the words are very emotional, to evoke this more the ending words of each line in this stanza, all are assonace’eyes.
blinds’ the sound of the ‘s’ tends to evoke more emotions and sympathy from the readers. This could be related to how birdsong has used many short sentences ‘the whistle in his mouth. His foot on the ladder. He swelled hard and blew’, every sentences brings out maximum impact to the readers.
It helps the reader picture slow motions of what the character is doing, and we can say that it’s true that faulks and Owen do succeeded in getting the maxim response from the readers, whether it’s emotional or to get them thinking.Looking back on birdsong and anthem for doomed its certain that faulks and Owen has succeeded to convey the unsurpassable depiction of the Somme, but differently that fits well with poetry depiction and novel depiction. On first reading of anthem for doomed youth, it seemed as if the poem only said the basic about the war and thought birdsong had more clearly attempted to convey the depiction of the Somme. However on second reading, I noticed that if the poem was written in 1916 or after the poem may have been more surpassable because of the torture.
Nowadays we only take a humanitarian tone and we just see it as slaughter.