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How Does Wilfred Owen Try to Express the ‘Pity of War’ in His Poem ‘Disabled’? Essay

  • Submitted by: carmen46
  • on April 3, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,621 words

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Below is an essay on "How Does Wilfred Owen Try to Express the ‘Pity of War’ in His Poem ‘Disabled’?" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Owen’s aim in writing ‘Disabled’ was that he wanted to express the pity of war. He wrote, “My subject is War, and the pity of War. The poetry is in the pity”.   He tries to show the pity of war through its consequences by concentrating on one of the soldiers who has been injured by a shell. Owen’s own experience of war was that he was a soldier who suffered shell shock after being attacked in France, and in contrast is the propaganda poets like Jessie Pope, he wanted to show the brutality and reality of war in his poem. In this poem Owen expresses his sympathy for the disabled soldier however also his anger for the young lives that have been wasted in the war.


Owen is writing about a young man who has returned home from war and he is confined to a wheelchair and “waiting for dark”. This conveys that the soldier does not have anything positive to look forward to – only the arrival of the end of the day when he can go to bed, or perhaps he is waiting for his death. The soldier is listening to the children playing; “Voices of play and pleasures”. This suggests that he feels sad that he can only listen and not join in as he has no legs and this also emphasises isolation. We feel sympathy for the young man, as in the last stanza he is waiting for the nurses to “put him into bed”. He depends completely on the nurses however once he could do anything when he wanted. The stanzas are set out in present, past and future so that the reader can see what happened to his life and how it has changed.


Previously, the soldier was young and handsome as “there was an artist silly for his face”; however now he is old “he’s lost his colour”. Owen describes the pity of war through revealing the physical difference of how he was then and how he is now. Owen illustrates the differences before the “In the old times” and now when the girls “touch him like a queer disease”. This highlights the effects of the war and the waste of a young life which was once so beautiful and full of...

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MLA Citation

"How Does Wilfred Owen Try to Express the ‘Pity of War’ in His Poem ‘Disabled’?". Anti Essays. 14 Dec. 2018

<http://trenmayamx.com/free-essays/How-Does-Wilfred-Owen-Try-To-603693.html>

APA Citation

How Does Wilfred Owen Try to Express the ‘Pity of War’ in His Poem ‘Disabled’?. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://trenmayamx.com/free-essays/How-Does-Wilfred-Owen-Try-To-603693.html