Additionally, both characters in these two poems feel great regret after they make their mistakes. The boy in ‘Out, Out-’ felt regret when he didn’t pay attention to the saw and had accidently “given” his hand away to the saw, whereas the disabled soldier felt regret when he joined up for war for stupid reasons such as fame, vanity, and also “to please his Meg”. This brings back the powerful image of loss, as he only had material motives to join war, as mentioned; “jewelled hilts”, “care of arms” and “pay arrears”. He was already thinking of leave without even starting; these unmet expectations led to a more devastating ending for the disabled soldier as he isn’t receiving the attention he got after he came back from war, than his so- called friends pushed him towards. He had romantic views about the war; this shows the naivety of him and makes the reader feel his empathy. Additionally, it emphasises how irreproachable his personality was because this perfect, model teenage boy has made the mistake of a lifetime. As he was inexperienced and had childlike thoughts and imagination, he was unaware of what situation he put himself in, which once again outlines the innocence of his youth. However, it does mention several times that “He asked to join. He didn’t have to beg” which refers back to the idea that he is only to blame, as whatever position he is now standing in, was completely his decision. He had also been taken away by the persuasive black propaganda. This makes his loss feel more pointless and very regretful. So this defies his argument about blaming Meg.
Whilst comparing these characters together they, as well, blame their faults onto somebody else. We, as a reader, understand this, because when he mentions the reasons why he joined up for war, he mentions how it was “to please his Meg”, and this sounds sarcastic to us that he threw his life away at such a young age for a girl who doesn’t even care enough to visit him anymore, instead leaving him lonely in a “wheeled chair, waiting for dark”. He is more or less blaming her for making his life futile. Also, again in proximity with the poem ‘Out, Out-’ where he blames it on the “snarling” saw that appeared to attack at him. Frost personifies the saw repeatedly throughout the poem, how the saw “leaped out at the boy’s hand” and how it had “snarled and rattled in the yard”. Giving the image of an animal, waiting to pounce.
These two characters are forced to be independent about their lives because they are both rejected by others. In the poem ‘Out, Out-’ he complains about how once he died nobody had taken much interest when he died “since they were not the one dead”, they “turned to their affairs”, and this compares nicely within ‘Disabled’ where he talks about how “women’s eyes passed from him to the strong men that were whole”, as well as having rejection hit at him, it also makes him feel dehumanised, that he is now labelled “Disabled” and now he has stripped of his masculinity. This again alludes to the idea of loss as he is being abandoned by everyone. He had a massive crowd of people chanting him off to war, whereas “only some cheered him home”. This gives a lonely, isolated and unloved atmosphere.
Furthermore, these two poets have created a contrast between idyllic working environments with the beautiful setting coming into contrast with horrific events. Robert Frost has created a perfect example of this in the poem “Out, Out-” when mentioning the “Five mountain ranges one behind the other Under the sunset far into Vermont” and also describes the “sweet, scented stuff”. The sibilance on the “sweet” and “scented” exaggerates the pleasant atmosphere. By mentioning these notes about how everything was delightful, and how all of his five senses are all sensational and pleasurable, it creates a sense of danger in a way that everything at the moment is perfect and it is making the reader predict that it is just leading up to something more hazardous and dangerous. Another example of the use of this effect would be in the poem ‘Disabled’ where Wilfred Owen describes how the disabled soldier listens outside from his hospital bed how the “Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn” and also their “Voices of play and pleasure”. The use of this anaphora gives the effect of an echo and how the children’s happiness haunts him. Also the plosive used on “play and pleasure” gives it a harsh tone to possibly show that he is jealous of the freedom of the children as he barely had any youth himself so he envies those who have. What sounds to the reader (which is mirrored earlier on) is a beautiful setting by which Owen has as well as Frost added a negative perspective to it. However, in this poem it is to show the emotions of the angry and bitter disabled soldier, unlike in ‘Out, Out-’ where it is to show the building tension of a beautiful setting coming into contrast with a scene of horrific events. These characters are very remorseful about why they had made their stupid mistakes in the first place. This once again makes the loss wasted and valueless.