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Personal Response to "Disabled" by Wilfred Owen

Uploaded by lightseeker on Feb 19, 2004

The image of a “wheeled chair” implies that he is disabled and probably dependent on others. Legless, sewn short at elbow” further implies the disability of the persona. The words “waiting for dark”, “shivered” and “ghastly suit of grey” imply his loneliness. “Voices of boys rang saddening” reminds him of the old times when he used to be like them, playing and enjoying himself.
In the second stanza, the poet expresses the gaiety and liveliness of the town as compared to the first stanza filled with empty thoughts and coldness. The phrase “before he threw away his knees” seemed to mock at him sacrificing his legs. The fact that he would never feel “how slim girls’ waists are” showed that he had lost the privilege of being a typical man. “Touch him like some queer disease” implies that the girls probably stayed as far away from him as possible, avoiding much .
In the past, artists liked to draw his face as he did not look his age. It is different now as he looks older than his age.
Irony is used here. In the first stanza, it is known that he had already lost his legs and that that affected his whole life. In the fourth stanza, we are presented with a scene from before the war when he had felt proud to sustain an injury while playing football on the field. Then, he was worshipped and celebrated like a hero.
He joined the army partly because of his vanity. The phrase “he’d look a god in kilts” showed that he thought he would look good and impressive in his army uniform. He also wanted to display his manliness to impress the girls. He had lied about his age to join the army. It implied that he was probably underage. He probably knew that he was too young to be accepted and therefore the lie.
The fifth stanza showed mostly portraits of his dreams. For example “daggers in plaid socks”, “smart salutes,” “care of arms”, etc. He did not even experience any fear – “no fears of Fear”. This showed that he was rather ignorant and had many illusions of good life in the army. However, his army career was soon over and he was “drafted out”.
“Some cheered him home” showed that he did earn some respect for sacrificing himself and joining the army. However, this cheering was not as much as...

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Uploaded by:   lightseeker

Date:   02/19/2004

Category:   World War I

Length:   3 pages (567 words)

Views:   3320

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