How Does Owen Use Juxtaposition in the Poem ‘Disabled’

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How Does Owen Use Juxtaposition in the Poem ‘Disabled’

By | Feb. 2013
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How does Owen use juxtaposition in the poem ‘Disabled’
Introduction
The poem “Disabled” by Wilfred Owen is about a young soldier who has lost his legs during the First World War. Owen wrote the poem whilst he was being treated for shell shock at the Craiglockhart War Hospital. It is very likely that he would have seen lots of soldiers pass through his ward with severe injuries such as missing limbs. Contrasts

Throughout the poem there are many examples of contrast or juxtaposition in a majority of the stanzas. In the first stanza the veteran is sitting all alone in his wheelchair with his legs amputated. Owen describes the boys playing in the park. These boys are a direct juxtaposition to the veteran because they are able to run around and he is not able to, and they are innocent to the horrors war whereas he has first-hand experience. The effect of the contrast between “glow-lamps budded” and “waiting for the dark” is that before he had something to do during daytime but after he had nothing to do with himself as he is “legless” and just wants any excuse to do nothing and sleep his life away. The effect of the contrast between “smart salutes” and “some cheered him home” is that as he went to war they felt proud and the public loved them but afterwards they are so tired of war that only “some cheered him home”. Figurative Language

In the first stanza Owen uses figurative language to describe the boys playing in the park and going home to bed. He uses a simile in line 4 “voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn” and personification in line 6 “till gathering sleep had mothered them from him”. These three lines use very poetic language which is a direct contrast to the first three lines where he uses stark words to describe the awfulness of his life now. He uses figurative language to highlight the horror of what has happened to him now prevents him from going out dancing before the war. In line 10 he uses hyperbole, “In the old times, before he threw away...