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Exposure and Disabled are two poems written by Wilfred Owen during the First World War. How do they portray the powerful expression of the horror of war?

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Introduction

"Exposure" and "Disabled" are two poems written by Wilfred Owen during the First World War. How do they portray the powerful expression of the horror of war? Wilfred Owen used poetry to show his opinion of war. Owen said, "My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity." Both "Exposure" and "Disabled" show different aspects of War, however, both come to the same overall conclusion and show Owen's feelings on the brutality that is War. These poems have strong contrasts, especially in the subjects. "Exposure" shows the consequences of war and "Disabled" gives a detailed account of a situation that was commonly found in the First World War. Also, the time periods are different. Both are written in the present tense but it is the time period that the piece is set in that separates the two. "Exposure" is written actually during the war. "Disabled" however, talks of a man that is a survivor of the war and it describes an event that occurred as a result of the war. Both pieces are different in content but both show how Owen conveyed the true horror of war through his poetry. "Disabled" is a poem about a man who has survived the war yet has lost both legs and has lost at least one arm up to the elbow. ...read more.

Middle

No one cares anymore and there are no true feelings there from anyone. He is lonely, this is shown in the first and last verses, when the man has to be put to bed and no one comes to do it, also when he is sitting on his own in his wheelchair waiting for dark. This makes the reader feel pity for the man and this means Owen has achieved his aim, to make the reader feel the pity of War and its victims. The repetition of "Why don't they come?" shows the emphatic feeling of this man, as the girls do not want to come to him anymore and that was the sole reason he went to war. "Exposure" is a poem based on a small section of men, maybe 5 or 6, who are literally exposed on a salient, either manning sniper posts or defending an advanced position. However, the poem also shows how the soldiers, not just the ones featured in the poem, were exposed to the terrible conditions of winters on the front lines. As well as showing the exposure of the men to the elements and also the enemy, the poem also relates to the monotony of war, even if action is taking place. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, they are fighting for the freedom of the people back home, this is a similarity between the pieces. The poem ends in verse eight, where it is left quite open ended. However, the last line "But nothing happens" implies that they can only really last one more night of this before they slide into death. Strong adjectives such as "shrivelling" and "puckering" describe the burying party and seem to conclude that these soldiers will come to a very cold and ugly end. Both poems are very effective in showing how Owen expressed the horror of War. Whether it was on the battlefield or as a result of it, War is ugly and there are no winners. The use of language in both poems is very clever and allows the reader to truly get into the role of the party involved and feel for them and the others that suffered. In my opinion, "Exposure" is the better poem for expressing the horror of war as not only are the men attacked by the enemy, but they have to survive against the elements as well. "Disabled" allows the reader to understand the consequences however; it does not give a real feeling of how men felt when they were being attacked constantly in a foreign, unknown country. ?? ?? ?? ?? Vicky Hayward 10T English Coursework - Exposure & Disabled ...read more.

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