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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 1626 words

Comparing the two poems Refugee Blues by W H Auden and Disabled by Wilfred Owen

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Introduction

Phoebe RowanL5AXCEnglish Comparing the two poems âRefugee Bluesâ by W H Auden and âDisabledâ by Wilfred Owen Wilfred Owen and W H Auden are both war poets, each experiencing a different war but both expressing the same feeling-loss. The two poems âDisabled; by Wilfred Owenâ and âRefugee Blues by W H Audenâ were both a passionate response to the horrors of war. âDisabledâ talks about a warrior, in third narrative perspective, during World War 1, who has lost his youth as he believed that this will make his country, friends, family and lover proud. Whereas âRefugee Bluesâ is written in first person who conveys the plight of the German Jews during the time of World War 2. Although both of these poems refer to the same theme, a loss of human dignity, both physically and emotionally there are a numerous amount of contrasts throughout both texts. Each poet uses different techniques and styles to expose the theme of their poem. Refugee Blues written in 1939 is written as a blue, a sad song which strongly shows the melancholy feeling. We can see obviously as a refugee the couple has lost their home, their country and their identity.

Middle

Disabled written by Wilfred Owen explores the effects of war on those who live through it by comparing the present life of an injured soldier to his past hopes and accomplishes. The first stanza starts with the depressing description of a lone man sitting in a wheelchair in a park, being unable to walk or participate in any of the activities involving exercise going on around him. He is dressed formally, but his suit is cut at the waist helplessly listening to the voices of young children which saddens him as they remind him of something he canât ever have again. He then remembers what his life had been like before his injury: at this time of night, after the work had been done for the day, the town had come to life at night. He remembers how the streets used to light up and how the girls would become more inviting and alluring. He regrets losing his legs, for he knows that he will never again dance holding a woman or feel her soft touches as they now touch him out of pity, like as if he is strange abnormality in their normal life. He remembers once there was such validity, such life in him that an artist had been insistent on drawing his face, for just a year ago, it spoke of innocence and clarity of heart.

Conclusion

He would never again run in a field or score a winning goal, he would never again be praised for being a hero only pitied endlessly about being cripple. The things that he used to boast about the wounds received in a match and being carried on the shoulders of his team mates is so much different from no longer having his legs. The contrast is frightening and clever. The structure of the poem when he switches between past and present and the remembrance and realization of what the soldier has lost is important and a good technique that Wilfred Owen uses. Each Stanza starts with describing the soldierâs present conditions and then compares it to his past life or vice versa. Nevertheless the last stanza depicts what he thinks his future holds for him which is a life of dependency and helplessness. The differences between both of these poems are the way in which the poet presents them towards the audience. Although a lot of the poetic devices are being used such as the rhyming, alliteration and rhetorical questions are included they are two completely different poems portraying a different matter/story. The mood and tone being conveyed to the audience in each one gives you a real sense of sympathy for the narrator telling the story. HELP i need to say more about why they are similar/ different

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