‘Disabled’ Therefore underage soldiers (such as the boy in

‘Disabled’ is a war poem written by Wilfred Owen in 1917. It expresses the thoughts and feelings of a tormented teenager who has lost his limbs on the battlefield. The Great War from 1914 to 1918 took many lives and all the nations needed as much manpower as possible. Therefore underage soldiers (such as the boy in ‘Disabled’) joined the army and were allowed to be deployed to war. The poet of ‘Disabled’, Wilfred Owen, had enlisted in the army and died in November 1918 , exactly a week before the signing of the armistice which ended World War 1. ‘Out,Out ‘was written by Robert Frost during 1916. ‘Out,Out’ is a story of a young boy who dies of his wounds after his hand is amputated after an accident involving a saw. The gruesome descriptive skills of ‘Out,Out’ creates an almost too realistic story about how a young boy accepts what has happened to his hand and that he is on the brink of death. The young boy begging for help, inflicts a large amount of sadness and for the reader and the thought that the boy is so young and has so much to look forward to is disturbing and really moves the reader into a feeling of sorrow and grief for the young boy and his family. Both poems create pathos for the teenager and young boy and move the audience with large amounts of imagery, literary devices, and structure. However Owen’s ‘Disabled’ is able to move the reader more due to the young man still being alive after his accident. Unlike in ‘Out,Out’ the young man has to live with his disability for a long time and have to experience all the negative aspects on life as a disabled person looking back at his youth with utter most regret. Unlike the boy who is put out of his misery and doesn’t have to suffer for the rest of his life even though his death is a gruesome and realistic experience of death.The use of personification throughout the poem “leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap” this creates an image that the saw is alive and has a conscious of itself. At the beginning of the poem Robert Frost foreshadows the accident that is about to occur ‘called it a day’ yet the workers didn’t and eventually led to the accident. This moves the reader more as the later find out how such a small act could have saved the life of the innocent child. In addition the use of onomatopoeia ‘And the saw snarled and rattled’ helps build tension for the accident where to the  boy will lose his hand. Furthermore it could symbolises the innocence of the boy distressing the readers and moving them. This moves the reader as the boy seems to be unexpecting of all the horrible events that are about to occur and this significantly symbolises his innocence making his death distressing for a reader therefore moving me. In addition the use of a large range of literary devices such as personification,alliteration,repetition and foreshadowing which helps Frost explore the accident of the boy in great detail increasing the effectiveness of moving the readers.’Disabled’ is a poem which conveys the theme of loss because of the dark style and structure used by Owen. Irksome words are used throughout the poem to highlight the theme of loss. In addition the use of imagery ‘ghastly suit of grey’ shows how the young man is depressed to his physique and body after the war which lead to the forever lasting scars. ‘Sleep had mothered him’ suggests that the young man prefers to sleep then be awake and realize what has happened to him. It could possibly also be a metaphor for the young man wanting to end his life and sleep forever. It is clear from Owens descriptions that the man regrets ‘throwing’ his arms and legs away and how his irresponsible choices as a young man has now left him crippled. The girls touch the man like a ‘queer disease’ while he used to be able to talk to girls and they would not look down on him and now he wouldn’t be able to touch their ‘warm subtle hands’.Moreover Owen uses multiply statements to compare the changes on society and the character after the war. “Town used to swing so gay” which shows how happy the town and society before  war in comparison to the present day which the character is in. “Now he is old; his back will never brace” shows the how the man has lost his body shape and his old self before the war  “for it was younger than his youth, last year.”  The poem contrasts the life of a soldier in world war two to playing an innocent sport and highlights the selfish limited thought the man had for joining the army such as he thought of all the good things that would be provided but not that he was putting his life on the line ‘jewelled hilts, daggers in plaid socks and smart salutes’ which can be seen as a very immature action, as he never considers the consequences that can happen and ironically his action lead him to become disabled. This moves the readers as it also acts as a constant reminder to the man that because of how immature his actions were and how he will have to be disabled for the rest of his life because of his mistake.


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