Wilfred Owen/War Poetry

Topics: Funeral, Army, Soldier Pages: 3 (994 words) Published: September 24, 2014
“Owen explores the impact of war on society and youth in WW1” When WW1 was declared in August 1914, a huge number of men wanted to enlist, their enthusiasm being shared amongst many others, aged only 15-18. It was a global war centred in Europe, and although devastating, also gave birth to some of the best poets of their time. One of the soldiers who experienced the war first hand was Wilfred Owen and through his poetry, he graphically illustrated both the horrors of warfare, the physical landscapes which surrounded him and the human body in relation to those landscapes. His poetry, “Disabled” and “Anthem for Doomed Youth” stand in blatant contrast to the patriotic poems of war written by earlier poets. His anti-war poetry contrasted the official propaganda about the glories of trench warfare, and the heroism of soldiers and depict the shattering effect that war has on society and youth. Owen’s “Disabled” explores the effects of war on those who live through it by comparing the present life of an injured soldier to his past hopes and accomplishments. The first stanza opens with the depressing description of a lone man sitting in a wheelchair wearing a “ghastly suit of grey” being unable to indulge in any of the activities around him. Owen does not give the soldier a name but rather uses “He” to allow him to represent all soldiers. The line “legless, sewn short at elbow” allows responders to understand that he has lost limbs. He remembers what life had been like before the war, and through these flashbacks we begin to realise the full impact of his injury. He remembers how the streets used to light up and how the girls would become more inviting and alluring, and then we are brought back to the harsh reality as he will “never feel again how slim girls’ waists are…all of them touch him like some queer disease.” This simile highlights the impact of the war on youth and shows that their wounds were not only physical, but psychological as well. He again thinks of when...
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