Disabled by Wilfred Owen: Commentary

Topics: Disability, Developmental disability, World War II Pages: 2 (896 words) Published: February 3, 2012
Wilfred Owen's powerful poem 'Disabled' explores the results of war. It tells the story of a young soldier who lost his limbs in World War One; and due to this, he considers himself as an 'ugly' man. According to this melancholic poem, disability had changed the man's life. The poem's introduction is very straight forward and to the point. In line two, 'shivered' implies that the man is outside, and you can further come to this conclusion in line three, where it is mentioned that was going 'through the park'. Also, line three says that the man is legless. The 4th and 5th lines, 'Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn' and 'Voices of play and pleasure after day' give a sense of sadness, making the man remember his childhood. Although it seems like a distant memory, It wasn't too long ago when he too was like one of those boys, running around with nothing to care about. These lines possibly also show that the man was a bit jealous of those boys (who all still believed in happy endings). In the first three lines of the second stanza, the narrator reminisces his past, and how situations in life were so different, before he was injured. He used to go out to parties with his friends, while many 'lovely' girls would constantly flirt with him. But, the next four lines of this stanza say that this was all before he ''threw away his knees''. 'Threw' is a very effective word in this line, telling us that if the man hadn't signed up for being in the army, then he still would've been healthy, had his legs, and attracted lots of women. However, as explained, he's not able to achieve any of those now; not a single woman is willing to even look at him. I think that this stanza gives a strong essence of the man's regretting his enrolment in the army. He seems to be syo mentally weak, and ready to give up on life at any moment. Line fourteen, 'There was an artist silly for his face', probably suggests that there was a girl, who was an artist and was smitten with the man....
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