Disabled a Poem by Wilfred Owen and Refugee Blues by W.H. Auden Essay

Disabled a Poem by Wilfred Owen and Refugee Blues by W.H. Auden Essay

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Both Wilfred Owen and W.H Auden effectively express their opinions on the sensitive topic of war, having experienced the direct impact of it first hand which is indisputably evident in their poems ‘Disabled’ and ‘Refugee Blues’ respectively. Both the poems focus on the intense depiction of the unglamorous consequences tied with war. ‘Disabled’ as per the title is about a young soldier disabled both physically and emotionally during combat. The poem is written in close focus third person and zooms in on the soldier’s unwillingness to continue with his life as he falls into slow depression which is illustrated by the close focus pathos (pity) where at the end of the poem is spoken in the voice of the soldier as he questions himself ‘why don’t they come?’ in hopes of getting no reply. Here ‘they’ refers to death itself and the use of repetition reinforces on his misery and endless suffering. Similarly, ‘Refugee Blues’ describes the life of Jews who were forced to flee Europe when the Holocaust started in the voice of an old man speaking to what seems to be his wife by the use of phrase “my dear’. The calm attitude of the speaker throughout the poem may suggest that he has made peace with the fact that he can’t do anything and can only reassure his wife that everything will be alright“But we are still alive, my dear , but we are still alive’. Alternatively it may suggest his depression and lost hope of any future.
Both the poems create a shocking contrast between before and after. In ‘Disabled’, Owen does so by alternating between the present and past tenses as well as change of tone from happy to sad and giving the reader a backstory of how the soldier ended up disabled by occasional flashbacks throughout the poem. What is horrifying...


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...ly difference being that in ‘Disabled’ the soldier feels that he is completely alone and will never be loved again due to his physical disability whereas in ‘Refugee blues’ , the refugees have each other as companions but, are emotionally isolated from the world around them since Hitler said that they are not people anymore and their passports have been taken away from them while all the doors have been shut on their faces “yet there’s no place for us , my dear, yet there’s no place for us’
In conclusion, both the poems represent the theme of pity of war successfully. However, I think we tend to sympathize more with the soldier in ‘disabled’ rather than the refugees in ‘Refugee blues’ due to the fact that it is written more realistically in comparison to ‘refugee blues’ which states a much generalized idea without going too in depth with the harsh details of war.



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