What Was the Reality of War in Disabled and What Literary Devices Are Used to Convey This Information?

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Disabled by Wilfred Owen deals with the realities of war and the changes that individuals undergo. The poem manages to convey a sense of age and the harshness of the war. The realities of war seen in Owens poem are the injuries and hardships faced by the soldiers, the loss of innocence and aging of the individual and the impact war has on the individual once they return to the home front. Owen portrays these realities through the use of alliteration, rhetorical question, hyperbole and simile. War is not depicted as glorious or patriotic but rather as the destroyer of young lives as the realities of the hardships faced are exposed. The unnamed soldier in Disabled is key, as Owen refers to the soldier as “he” we never truly get the sense of whom he is talking about. The anonymity of the soldier suggests that he is representative of all soldiers. The soldier initially a footballer now finds himself in a wheelchair. In the beginning of the poem the soldier starts to reminisce about his past. The cyclical nature of the poem is appropriate as it emphasises the pain and the nightmares that are continuously in his mind, giving him no peace or respite. “Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry… a leap of purple spurted from his thigh.” This image when contrasted to the images of his previous life, serves to create a sense of loss for the young. The injury still to this day causes him pain when he thinks about the life he could have had. The soldier reflects on his “youthful” days which effectively exposes Owen’s perspective on the aftermath of war. The soldier was previously looked upon as “Younger than his youth” which is effectively juxtaposed with his present state as “now, he is old”, consequently, bitterly highlighting his innocence, which has been lost alongside his body. Owen employs this juxtaposition to clearly allow responders to reflect and understand the

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