Analysis of 'Disabled' and 'Refugee Blues'

Topics: Poetry, W. H. Auden, Communication Pages: 4 (1352 words) Published: September 3, 2012
How does Wilfred Owen and WH Auden communicate a feeling of despair and isolation in Disabled and Refugee Blues?
By Rhys Perrin

Though there are distinct differences between Disabled by Wilfred Owen and Refugee Blues By WH Auden, both poems can be easily be associated with despair and desolation.

The first stanza of Disabled, is set in the present and Wilfred Owen describes the soldier’s lack of pride in his apearance in the ill fitting ‘suit of grey’. Alliteration is outlined in the first stanza but his situation is emphasized by describing his chair as ‘ghastly’ which shows he feels protected and yet confined and uncomfortable and that he can never escape from his cage. The word grey is usually associated with depression and misery which increases the despair of the situation. As he sits in his chair, crippled whilst ‘voices of play and pleasure’ are heard outside. The use of alliteration is effective in describing how free other people are whereas the persona feels trapped. This communicates the soldier’s longing and helps put the reader in his perspective.

In the second stanza, the soldier begins to reminisce of the light that filled his world before his accident, this outlines his naivety and lack of knowledge of war and its consequences. He also relishes in fact that ‘girls glanced’ at his beauty and how that all has changed when he ‘threw away his knees’. This is effective in showing his regret and also how much of a waste it was. This effect is increased by the emphasis on how handsome and desirable he was before the accident. It is implied that the feeling on confinement doesn’t make him feel as lonely as the fact that he will never find love or at least feel the satisfaction of human contact. This is intended to communicate a powerful feeling of sympathy and possibly empathy of the reader. He also reminisces on the light that filled his world and how ‘Glow...
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