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Discuss How Wilfred Owen Portrays The Horror Of War In 'disabled'

950 words - 4 pages

Wilfred Owen portrays the horror of war by using dramatic contrasts, powerful imagery, devastating irony and by generating a strong feeling of sympathy for the subject of the poem.The contrasts between health and illness feature heavily in the poem and give a before and after picture of the subjects life. Before the war the boy in the poem had played football,"After the matches." "It was after football"and now he does not even have the equipment to play, i.e. legs,"Legless, sewn short at the elbow."There is also a contrast used in describing age,"younger than his youth" and "he is old."This is an example of juxtaposition as these lines are one immediately after the other. As well as this Owen shows how attitudes towards the subject have changed,"girls glanced", "lover" and "womens eyes passed from him"This shows that the women who had once admired him now only looked at him with pity and, "touch him like some queer disease."Blood is used in a graphic contrast in the third stanza,"Hes lost his colour far from here.""A leap of purple spurted from his thigh."These lines give you a real image of how horrific military injures could be and the irony that the subject of the poem had once, "liked a blood smear down his leg" becomes extremely depressing.There are examples of contrasts between the moods of people pre and post war. It is shown that before the war people were happier,"Voices of play and pleasure,"but now there is a more solemn atmosphere,"Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn."This line also has connotations of a funeral.The poem shows that before the war the subject would have been out with his friends just now,"About this time Town used to swing so gay ."However now he is unable to go out with friends,"waiting for dark."The character in the poem is well built up and you are given an insight into his life and attitudes both before and after the war. The poem shows that the subject was not particularly passionate about the reasons for the war,"Germans he scarcely thought of; all their guilt And Austria s, did not move him,"but show his reasons for joining the army, "to please his Meg." This displays the characters naivety and lack awareness of what fighting in the war entailed.It is shown in the poem that the boy was deceived by the illusions of grandeur created."Of smart salutes, Esprit de corps" and "He was drafted out with drums and cheers."This role of the hero is almost reversed after the war,"Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal."He is only aware of what he had let himself in for after he was in the midst of the fighting."Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry."The subject appears to have been under the influence of alcohol when...

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