He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark, And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey , Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn, Voices of play and pleasure after day, Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him. HE not named, as he is one of many Alliteration Repetition The immediate appearance of 'dark', 'grey' , and 'shivered' sets up the isolation of the wounded soldier. It strikes a strong comparison to the warmth of the second stanza. Adjectives to show sadness
About this time Town used to swing so gay When glow-lamps budded in the light-blue trees And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim, — In the old times, before he threw away his knees . Now he will never feel again how slim Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands , All of them touch him like some queer disease. Alliteration – show Beauty The results of his disability 'before he threw away his knees' ( L.10 ) The implication that this was a needless loss (sacrifice) is reinforced by Ll.23-4 where the wounded soldier fails to remember why he joined up, pointing only to a distant sense of duty, and euphoria after the football match. 'Now he will never feel again how slim/ Girls' waists are' ( L.11 & L.12 ) Showing not only the physical loss of his arm, but also the psychological scars as the soldier knows he will be shunned by women from now on. 'glow-lamps' and 'girls glanced' ( L.8 & L9 ) Both are linked effectively by the use of alliteration.
There was an artist silly for his face , For it was younger than his youth, last year. Now he is old ; his back will never brace; He's lost his colour very far from here, Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry, And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race, And leap of purple spurted from his thigh . 'younger than his youth' ( L.15 ) The reversal is total. The implication is that his face is now older than his youth. 'He's lost his colour very far from here' ( L.17 ) this line is an example of one of the great memorable lines written by Owen. It is an example of 'deliberate, intense understatements – the brave man's only answer to a hell which no epic words could express…
One time he liked a bloodsmear down his leg, After the matches carried shoulder-high. It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg, He thought he'd better join . He wonders why . . . Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts . That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg , Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts, He asked to join. He didn't have to beg; Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years . ' a bloodsmear down his leg,/After the matches, carried shoulder-high' ( L.21 & L.22 ) Again Owen uses irony effectively here. We are already aware that the soldier has lost an arm and his legs, yet we are told that before the War he felt proud to have an injury (obtained on the football field), and to be carried shoulder-high (as a celebration as opposed to helplessness). Concept of reversal is again used: sporting hero to cripple, handsome to 'queer disease' ( L.13 ), colour to dark, warmth to cold. 'a god in kilts' ( L.25 ) An indication that the soldier was a member of one of the Scottish regiments (repeated in ll.32-6 ). Also implies that he joined up for reasons of vanity. 'giddy jilts ‘ L.27 ) Scottish term for a young woman. 'Smiling they wrote his lie: aged nineteen years' ( L.29 ) The sadness of the soldier's plight is heightened. Clearly he was under-aged when he enlisted and therefore is still young.
Germans he scarcely thought of; and no fears Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes; And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears; Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits . And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers. Another indication that the soldier was a member of one of the Scottish regiments (repeated in ll.32-6 ).
Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal . Only a solemn man who brought him fruits Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul. 'Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal' ( L.37 ) Recalls the image of the football match earlier. L.22 implies that he was carried from the field shoulder-high, possibly as the result of scoring the winning goal. Here, despite having achieved far more, for far greater a loss than a 'blood- smeared leg', the crowd's reception is more hollow. Several recruiting posters used the motif of linking sport to the army, and there were numerous recruiting drives at soccer matches. Minister/Priest?
Now, he will spend a few sick years in Institutes, And do what things the rules consider wise, And take whatever pity they may dole. To-night he noticed how the womens ’ eyes Passed from him to the strong men that were whole . How cold and late it is! Why don't they come And put him into bed? Why don't they come? Exclamation for emphasis Repetition – shows how dependent he is on them and has to wait for the orderlies/nurses 'do what things the rules consider wise' ( L.41 ) The soldier's meekness is complete. The fine young athlete has been reduced to a state of dependency on others and helplessness (heightened by the pitiful closing repetition of 'Why don't they come?'). The stanza has him waiting for others to do things for him, he 'spends a few sick years', 'takes whatever pity' others choose to offer him; he is passed over by the women's attentions, as he bemoans the cold and hopes that someone will put him to bed. 'Tonight he noticed how the women's eyes/Passed from him to the strong men that were whole' ( L.43 & L.44 )Repeating what the soldier has lost, this time in his attractiveness to the opposite sex. 'Whole' implying that he is incomplete, less than a man.
Disabled by Wilfred Owen – example essay! I think that in the poem ‘ Disabled ’ , Wilfred Owen is trying to convey the real tragedy of war. Many people think only of those killed but reading the poem you remember that many people who were not killed in the war could still have suffered a lot more. In the poem Owen focuses on one young man, a single victim of war. It shows the effect the war has on the young man's life, when on returning from the war he has been maimed "legless, sewn short at elbow“ Owen writes the poem with style. He uses the recruit’s contrasting memories and new views to create the war victim's true feelings "About this time town used to swing so gay", "He thought be better join in" - he wonders why. "Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn“. Where is the Explanation?
The poem also illustrates how his lifestyle changed dramatically. He was once a great athlete, popular with the girls but now he is in a wheelchair , "they touch him like a queer disease", and he notices how "their eyes pass from him to the strong men that were whole". Explanation? An artist was once eager to paint him but "Now he is old, his back will never brace; he ’ s lost his colour very far from home". He was quite obviously attracted to joining for all the wrong reasons "It was after the football, when he ’ d drunk a peg", " Someone had said he ’ d look “a God in kilts", "to please his Meg". All these reasons were encouraged by official recruiting propaganda "Smiling they wrote his lie, aged nineteen years".
When he departed for war he was treated like a hero but peoples' reactions were different on his arrival home, "Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer goals". Only one person thanked him. The war took away everything in this young man's life and ‘ Now he will spend a few sick years in Institutes".
Essay <ul><li>Think of a poem about an incident that changed a person ’s life forever. Show how the poet contrasts life for the subject of the poem before and after the incident. </li></ul>
Remember! <ul><li>POINT – make it! </li></ul><ul><li>EVIDENCE – prove it! </li></ul><ul><li>EXPLANATION – tell me WHY you make this point </li></ul>
Think of a poem about an incident that changed a person ’s life forever. Show how the poet contrasts life for the subject of the poem before and after the incident. ‘ Disabled’ by Wilfred Owen is a poem about a young man who is disabled during the First World War and shows how his life changes for the worst afterwards. Before the war he is a fit young athlete, popular with the girls and good looking. Afterwards he is confined to a wheelchair, dependent on nurses to care for him at their convenience and ignored by the girls and other people.
At the beginning of the poem we see the young man in a wheelchair, waiting for dark, shivering and listening to the sounds of boys playing; he remembers the things he used to be able to do and his lifestyle before the war. OR: At the beginning of the poem we see the young man “sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark” shivering and listening to the sounds of boys playing; something he used to be able to do before his injuries.
He is not named in the poem and this emphasises the fact that there are so many of these crippled soldiers. The use of adjectives such as 'dark', 'grey' , and 'shivered' shows the isolation of the wounded soldier. It strikes a strong comparison to the warmth of the second verse.
Point: Before his injuries, the soldier used to go down town and enjoy himself with his friends. Evidence: When down ‘Town which used to swing so gay’ he would watch the girls who would ‘glance lovelier as the air grew dim’ but now he remembers that he has since thrown ‘away his knees’ which implies it was a foolish thing he did and that as a result he will never again feel ‘how slim girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands” Explanation: As a result of his becoming crippled he is now ignored by the girls as if he has ‘some queer disease’ and begins to remember the reasons why he joined the Army in the first place. (This links to the next paragraph about why he joined – vanity, drunk and wanting to please his girlfriend Meg)