Wilfred Owen Poems

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ENGLISH NOTES- WILFRED OWEN

DISABLED

Themes

- effect of war on the individual

- loss of identity and humanity

- multiply this for all seriously injured soldiers

Techniques

1. Imagerya) Soldiers present life

“ satin a wheeled chair”

“ legless, sewn short at the elbow”

EFFECT- establishes the scene and situation

- shocks the reader

b) Previous life

“ town used to swing so gay”

“ carried shoulder-high”

EFFECT- total contrast of his life pre-war

- all he has now are his memories

- tells us of his loss

c) Enlisting in the army

“ he’d drunk a peg”

“ he’d look a god in kilts”

“ to please the giddy jilts”

EFFECT- tells his reaction to flattery and peer pressure

- army assists by faking his age

2. Contrasta) Role of women in his life

- he once felt “how slim girls waits are or how warm their subtle hands”

- how “the women’s eyes passed from him to the strong men that were whole

EFFECT- shows the contrast between the lively active participant that he was, to the nameless, anonymous, dependent observer life.

b) His appearance

- he was a “god” “carried shoulder high”

- now he is wheelchair bound, limbless and dependent

c) Reaction of the crowd

- “drums and cheers” when the troops departed for the battlefield

- on return “ a solemn man”, perhaps a chaplain to bring fruit and ask him how he feels

EFFECT- young men are encouraged to join up and go to war but no one wants to take responsibility for caring for the injured returning from way.

3. Metaphors- a series of metaphors describing the battle and the injuries the disabled soldier incurred.

“ loss his colour” – horrific bleeding and pain

“ poured it down shell holes” – tells us that the injury related to a shelling attach at the nature of the injury: so bad that blood poured out.

“ leap of purple spurted from his thigh”

EFFECT- emphasising the dangers and injuries that no recruit could anticipate.

4. Tone- Disillusion- war is not what he had anticipated. Uniform parades, salutes, not a dependent, limbless life in a wheelchair.

- Despair- he has no future, only memories.

- Dependence- total reliance on nursing staff

“ take what pity they may dole”

“ why don’t they come and put him to bed?”

- Point of view- someone visiting the hospital, an observer

- Informal language- narrative of the generic soldier (no name)

DISABLED ANALYSIS

Line 1 sets the scene. His in a wheelchair, its really dark.

Line 2 describes him shivering in his grey suit

Line 3 shocks the audience. “Legless, sewn short at elbow.”

Line 4 simile in which the sound of children make him sad.

Line 5 reminder of his youth

Line 6 metaphor. The kids had been taken.

STANZA 2-

Line 1 contrast with his present life to the London life.

Line 2 descriptive. Talks about the parties he used to go to.

Line 3 the role of girls in his life

Line 4 metaphor. ‘”Threw away his knees.” Effect on the war.

Line 6 contrasting how he used to touch girls and now they keep their distance. Old life- new life.

STANZA 3-

Line 1 imagery of blood.

Line 2 contrast.

Line 3-4 explaining why he joined.

Line 5 imagery, description of him in kilts.

• Continue of narrative.

STANZA 5-

Line 1...
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