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

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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…show more content…
One theme that unites these two poems is the loss of human dignity and the pity of war. In ‘Disabled’ the soldier is incompetent of doing simple everyday tasks such as putting himself to bed and is dependent on others to do so whereas in ‘Refugee Blues though the speaker is physically capable, their identities have been snatched away from them ‘yet there’s no place for us’ linking with the theme of denied human rights as part of war. The young man in ‘Disabled’ represents the picture of millions and millions of soldiers who got wounded and decapitated during war. Owen wants the readers to realize how great of an impact war can have ,not just short term causes but, it can affect generations upon generations which is partly the fact why we still learn about WW1 and WW2 even today after more than half a century. In ‘Disabled’, Owen portrays a man being alienated because of his disability. Having physical disabilities downgrades one’s masculinity and self-esteem and the soldier in the poem seems to be suffering in paranoia as he envies and constantly looks upon “the strong men that are whole”. He notices how abnormal he is viewed by other people, even by women who he once could woo easily now “touch him like some queer disease”. The reader empathizes with the soldier and imagines themselves in his shoes. In ‘Refugee Blues’ the loss of human dignity is due to fact that their identity of being a Jew is the sole reason why they are being hunted to be killed.

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