“Disabled” is a Poem about a Soldier who lost his limbs in World War I. It was written by Poet Wilfred Owen in 1917 during World War 1. “Out Out” is about a Boy who loses his life because of a tragic accident with him having his hand cut off.

“Out Out” is based on a true story about Robert Frost’s friend’s son, he worked a Dangerous Job with the use of a Saw, a certain incident led to him having his hand cut off and then bleeding to death. He died at an early age, he lost his life leading to the destruction of his Youth. Disabled was written about an underaged Teenage Soldier that was recruited by the Army to serve in World War I leading to him losing his limbs on the Battlefield.

It talks about how The Army uses propaganda to fool Young Men into serving in the Army by displaying War as an act of Great Honour and how Britain will be grateful for your Actions, Wilfred Owen joined the Army to really see what War is like out there in the Trenches and the Battlefield. Wilfred Owen wrote this poem to really show the reality of War compared to the colorful Cartoons and Propaganda all over Britain but instead through Words coming from the Mind of a Soldier.

In the first Stanza, we see Owen talks about how he is disabled by saying, “He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark.”  We can immediately see a sense of loss in the first line, Owen says the Soldier is waiting for dark saying he’s lost everything, the ability to move and walk, and even the will to continue on with life and all he’s doing is just waiting for the dark to consume him where he is forgotten in an endless void.

It could also resemble he has lost everything and is just waiting for Death to come and take him away just in the blink of an eye like “Out Out.” Wilfred Owen starts with “He” to represent the main character of the poem, he places “dark” at the end of the sentence to represent the night, the darkness. He represents the sentence as time itself, as we read through the sentence “He” eventually waits, and over time we reach the “dark.”

The sentence is short because when he reminisces time goes by so quickly like the amount of time we take to read the first sentence which is why he questions at the end “How cold and late it is.” The first sentence is a simple sentence, the fact that it is simple mimics the fact that he himself is simple, his life is simple, he lost that freedom and permission to explore the world.

Instead, he is glued to his wheelchair where he lives his simplistic life out until he is dead. He keeps the current misery of his life short. We can see this when he reaches the end of the 3rd line he immediately talks about Parks and the Voices of Boys ringing and the feeling of him being mothered.

This shows he tends to avoid talking about what he has lost because he doesn’t want to lose the memories of his past life by filling it with memories of today. Instead, he reminisces because he’s scared to lose more than what he has already lost, showing the reader the true trauma and suffering that these soldiers had to go through and how death seemed better than their current situation. 

Wilfred Owen uses simple sentences to represent loss as well as his current state, we can see this in the first stanza when Wilfred Owen says, “He sat in a wheeled chair.” The fact that he is sitting in a wheeled chair shows he has lost his legs.

The use of a simple sentence reflects how his life has become simple since he can’t walk or use his legs and he just sits there in his wheelchair, though the simple sentence represents a physical loss and reflects his current state it also represents the loss of his youth, his only exciting part of his life.

This makes the reader feel sympathy for the soldier since his Youth was taken away from him unfairly because of the War and the propaganda that led him to join the army. The use of the simple sentence allows for the reader to become aware of the fact that something we take for granted (our legs) contribute so much to our lives and that when it is swept away from us in a flash we only then realize how dull and simple our lives become.

Wilfred Owen kept some of the Stanzas and sentences short to show loss. The first stanza is short compared to the others and it is also sad and mellow, this shows his loss and shortness of happiness and hope which relates to why the stanza is so dull and mellow, another way to interpret loss in this stanza is his suit, the short sentence, “Ghastly, suit of grey”.

Grey reflects his stoic manner and shows he has lost his positive attitude and his lively energy which can be seen in Stanza 4, the loss of his positive attitude reflects on the sadness of the first stanza. The lower case G also reflects his current mood as he is under the weather or just feeling down and low as he watches all the other whole people enjoying life with their loved ones in their youth which could also show jealousy.

The reason why the sentence is short could show how his suit is short because he lost his legs during the war or to show his short life that he is losing a bit of his life stuck in that Ghastly dress and every second withering away doing nothing in his Wheelchair. Stanza 6 is short because it reflects the people’s loss of interest in him, especially the women which reflects on the number of cheers he had gotten.

It could also be short because it talks about other Physical losses like the Woman’s Interest in him after he lost his legs, the number of people that visited him, the number of gifts he got for serving his country.

Wilfred Owen uses hyperbole to exaggerate loss in Disabled, we can see this in Stanza 3 when he says, “There was an artist silly for his face.” The soldier describes another Disabled war soldier who like him was filled with joy and popularity; that is before his youth was swept away in a matter of seconds. Hyperbole is used when he describes how half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race.

Owen uses Hyperbole to really exaggerate the fact of how quickly you can lose life or lose a part of your life in the blink of an eye like the main character in Out Out. By exaggerating this loss it allows for the reader to build a certain image inside their head and place them inside the battlefield at that time. By building this image the reader feels the sense of fear and sadness that the Soldiers had in the Trenches.

Robert Frost uses punctuation to emphasize his loss as well as loss for others in his poem, we can see this in Line 32 where it says, “Little-Less-Nothing-” The dashes represent the last short beats of his heart which is why Robert used Dashes, the last dash could represent the static from a heart rate monitor, the short bursts represent his weakness in that final state to emphasize the loss of his Youth and his life, the short bursts could also emphasize how his life was cut short and then coming to an end.

The full stop at the end of the line after “it” represents the end of his life and the “it” is referring to the dead child, the shortness of that sentence also represents how his life was cut short and could also refer to his short-lived out youth that he never got to fully experience, the gap at the end of the line represents the rest of his youth that doesn’t exist. Not only did he lose his life, but he also lost his arm unwillingly as well as his family and his free will.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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