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(Wilfred Owen) Compare "Mental Cases" And "Disabled" And Explain The Differing Feelings Which Owen Expresses And What Your Reactions To Them Are.

1078 words - 4 pages

Both "Mental Cases" and "Disabled" are anti-war poems evoking vivid and sometimes shocking emotions. Owen shows a less pleasant side to "The Great War" in his typical fashion. "Disabled" paints a vivid picture of a young man's misfortune and shows the contrast between his old life - full of hope - and his new life, in which he has no hope. "Mental Cases", on the other hand, outlines the mental effects of the war, with strikingly vivid images.~"Disabled" begins with a description of a man in a wheel-chair. He is described as wearing a "ghastly suit of grey" which is "Legless, sewn short at the elbow". This bluntly makes apparent the fact that this man has lost his legs and parts of his arms. He hears the "Voices of play and pleasure" but he is far removed from them. He has no pleasure, now.On lines 11 and 12 Owen describes how the man used to experience girls - "how slim // Girl's waists are or how warm their subtle hands". That was, however, "before he threw away his knees." This is another blunt remark - a little detached and objective but straight to the point. Now, girls "touch him like some queer disease." He is now no longer an attractive young man but he seems almost like a repulsive old man. While last year he appeared "younger than his youth", "Now he is old". The irony in him now being the disgust of girls now is that he actually went to war to impress the women - "to please his Meg"."Someone said he'd look a god in kilts"Now he looks like anything but a god.The vivid image of the man being horribly wounded in the trenches is conjured by the metaphor of how he "lost his colour":"Poured it down shell holes till the veins ran dry"His bleeding is described as a "leap of purple" which "spurted from his thigh". Both these images of heavy bleeding are very powerful, as are the emotions stirred in the reader.By contrast, the man use to think that blood on your leg was manly when it was gained as a consequence of actions for ones side. However, now he has no legs to have "a blood-smear" on, thanks to his contribution. "[H]e liked a blood-smear down his leg" "after football" - but that was only a game. Now, he has discovered that injuries can be much more serious when sustained in what one might call: The Ultimate Game. He underestimated the opposition - "Germans he scarcely thought of" - and has paid the price. Before, he had "no fear // Of Fear" - he though not of death or danger. He though only about the spirit of fellow men - "Esprit de corps" - about the uniform ("daggers in plaid socks") and about the "drums and cheers" as he marched of to war.The only one who "cheered him home", on the other hand, was "a solemn man who brought him fruits". He was not welcomed back as a hero but "not as crowds cheer Goal". This is another reference to sport and to how different war is. Only the man with the fruits, who we may assume to be a vicar or similar holy man, actually thanked him for his sacrifice. Of course he did not go to make a sacrifice for his...

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