"Mental Cases" by Wilfred Owen

Topics: Stanza, Metropolitana di Napoli, Present Pages: 4 (1225 words) Published: September 13, 2013
Oral Commentary on “Disabled” by Wilfred Owen

The poem “Disabled” is taken from Wilfred Owen’s collection of poetry referred to as Trench Poet. It was written in 1917 and tells the story of a soldier who lost his limbs in battle leaving him utterly helpless. It aims to crush the glorified image of war present in the minds of the public.

The messages and content present in the poem heavily resemble that of other poems from the collection such as; “The Send-Off”, which also uses contrast to show that there is little pride to be found in war. In “The Send-Off” men are riding away to an unknown place on a train. Contrast can be found in line three when it says “and lined the train with faces grimly gray.” The contrast in the poem, though different from “Disabled” is still used to create a somber tone. It is meant to tell the reader that although war can seem exciting there is always the knowledge in the back of the soldiers’ minds that they may die the next day. In the poem being analysed “Disabled” one can see a lot of contrast between the character’s past and present. Once again, although the contrast is shown differently, with respect to the context, it has the same purpose. Looking at the past in comparison to the present shows that the soldier not only did not find glory but rather lost it when he “threw away his limbs, “(line 10.)

Taking a closer look at “Disabled”, one of the things that stands out the most is the switch in tone in lines 15-20. Before those lines the character describes his past full of lights and gayeties. He comes back from war without his limbs, which were blown off in war, and utterly unwanted. He is ignored by the ladies who look at healthier men and is even forgotten by his caretaker. The main idea is to compare how he was treated before the war and how he was treated after. One would expect the soldier to come to loving arms and grateful cries. However, “only a solemn man (who) brought him fruits/ Thanked...
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