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Experience of Soldier in "Disabled" - Wilfred Owen

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Introduction

Discuss ways in which Owen presents the experience of the soldier in "Disabled." As a war poet of the early 20th century, Wilfred Owen's poems are poignant and expressive in their exploration of the experiences endured during the First World War. His poems are renowned for the unsympathetic and realistic way in which he depicted these experiences, effectively righting the misconceptions of war. In the poem "Disabled," Owen encapsulates the life of a wounded ex-soldier, providing powerful, evocative imagery to illustrate both the physical and psychological repercussions of the war. The experiences of the soldier are a recurring theme throughout the poem "Disabled." Owen introduces this matter in the first line of the poem - "he sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark." ...read more.

Middle

This sorrowful experience was perhaps included to evoke compassion from readers toward the veterans of the First World War, particularly those who were severely physically or psychologically affected. A contrast between the two lines is that whilst in "Disabled," the word "waiting" gives the ex-soldier a semblance of purpose, in "Mental Cases," the line is posed as a question, emphasising the purposelessness of the people. The second stanza of the poem "Disabled" consists of the soldier's experiences of life after the war. Written in a reflective tone, the poet highlights the severe contrast in the way the man was treated before and after serving in the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could possibly have been done to imitate the way in which the war had affected the soldiers, complicating their life and causing disorder. However, it could also be implied that the disordered manner of the poem could have been to give the poem a disturbing and unsettling quality - this may have made the readers feel pity where elements of bitterness and regret were evident. The emotional and physical experiences of the soldier are presented effectively in the poem "Disabled." Owen's blunt representations of the sufferings soldiers had to endure in the First World War, begs compassion from readers. Owen often paints the soldiers in his poems as young and naive, heightening the jolts of shock and hurt the reader experiences when the soldiers are left physically and mentally scarred. ...read more.

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