Disabled, Wilfred Owen

Topics: Stanza, Rupert Brooke, World War II Pages: 2 (726 words) Published: November 11, 2012
The dictionary meaning of disabled is having a physical or mental condition that limits movement, senses or activity. In Wilfred Owen’s poem Disabled through imagery, irony, tone, similes and contrasting the life of a soldier before and after war, Owen shows what it is like to be disabled by war.

Owen uses imagery to help the reader picture the soldiers life post World War I. “legless sewn short at elbow” and “his back will never brace” help to demonstrate a clear understanding of how the soldier would look; sitting in a wheel-chair, unable to do simple everyday tasks without assistance. Owen uses imagery referring to blood throughout the poem “leap of purple leaped from his thigh” which helps picture the brutality of war and what the soldier went through to end up disabled. The girls in the poem also help to demonstrate the difference in the soldier’s life pre and post war. Using imagery Owen shows the differing reactions of the girls. “to please his Meg” and “to please the giddy jilts” show that the reason for enlisting was to satisfy the girls. “The women’s eyes pass from him” show that post war he is no longer desirable and girls no longer look at him they way they did.

The use of irony in Disabled is used to portray the message that the propaganda and celebrations of war are all false. As stated before, he joined the army to please his girlfriend Meg, as in those days soldiers were attractive to women. However it is ironic that it is because of war that ‘he will never again feel how slim girls waists are’. The soldier was a football player before he enlisted and “one time he liked a blood-smear down his leg”. This is ironic because before the war the soldier was proud to be injured. However, he was wounded at war and feels not proud, but shame. “Some cheered him home but not as crowds cheer goal” demonstrates that the glory he felt from soccer is nothing like the shame he gets from being a disabled war veteran. He was cheered off to war, however...
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