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Disabled - Not Completed


Submitted By shanghai123
Words 573
Pages 3
Wilfred Owen, right at the start, informs the reader that the soldier is physically disabled, “legless, sewn at elbow”. “Waiting for dark” ‘dark’ creates a reference that not only he is waiting for the end of the day, but for the end of his time, ‘dark’ could also represent how the solider feels on the inside, empty, because due to his disability he can’t live life like he wants to, the ‘dark’-ness could also shield the soldier from the harsh reality of war as he can’t see it. The soldier reminiscences about his childhood; listening to the sounds of children. “Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him” implies that he is alluding to the end of their gleeful joy and innocence. The soldier feels nostalgic about his childhood. He could be feeling slightly jealous of these children as they still have their innocence and naivety where as for him war has robbed that from him. The soldier can dream no more because he knows the harsh reality.

The words ‘dark’, ‘shivered’, ‘ghastly’ and ‘grey’ shows the loneliness and isolation of the soldier; this is seen as a sharp contrast to “About this time Town used to swing so gay” and “glow-lamps budded in the light blue trees” shows a sense of euphoria this implies that the days of romance and youth are all just a distant memory for the soldier, gone forever and he is without any joy or happiness. “Before he threw this knees away” highlights the fact that his loss of limbs did not lead him to any honour or sacrifice, it was like the soldier had no choice and establishes that the loss of his legs was a waste, subtly pointing out that in the end, war is just a big waste of human lives.

In addition to his physical state, his is also mentally scarred as he gets reject by women, “now he will never feel again how slim girls’ waists are, or how warm their subtle hands”. The soldier bitterly remembers how he won’t be able to live life or be in a relationship as they look at him as if he has a "queer disease". The soldier might feel, ignored, dejected and almost betrayed by woman and the general society. It seems as if the soldier has given up on life as much as life has given up on him. The recollection continues, with the soldier musing on about the happy days in his past. The poet reiterates the previous stanza by giving the readers an idea of the soldier’s former life, which creates sympathy in the audience. Instantly the reader is brought back to the present, Owen juxtaposes the normal/abnormal within the stanzas. The remembrance of the soldiers state offers a picture of a situation worse than death. The soldier’s injuries made him grow up very quickly, loose his youth and naivety; the reality of war sunk in and the idea of it wasn’t glorious or honorable.

The soldier lies about his age to join in the army hoping he would find glory and honor. Owen uses a lot of imagery to create a link between the soldier and the losses that come with war. By using the disabled soldier, Owen creates a kind of propaganda against war, showing how life is much more valuable and how people can suffer, in the end, there is no glory or fame, just pain.

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