How Does Wilfred Owen Provoke Sympathy for His Protagonist in ‘Disabled

804 Words Aug 5th, 2013 4 Pages
How does Wilfred Owen provoke sympathy for his protagonist in ‘Disabled?’

Owen provokes sympathy for his main character throughout the book and in every stanza. In the opening stanza Owen connects the reader with the main character, by making the reader feel sorry for him. The boy feels as though he is ‘waiting for dark,’ this makes the reader feel pity on the boy, as he knows he is waiting to die. By connecting the reader with the protagonist they feel more sympathy for him and they feel upset when he feels lonely and isolated. ‘Voices of play and pleasure,’ tells the reader that the boys in the park are happy and the boy in the wheeled chair probably used to be like that, but now he is in a wheeled chair he will never be able to get
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The third stanza creates sympathy by using mainly the boy’s youth and innocence. Owen does this so the reader feels connected with the boy; people feel more sympathy for someone who lives a short life than for someone who dies living a full life. Owen says that last year he was ‘younger than his youth,’ but ‘now he is old,’ this shows sympathy for the boy as he lost his youth and life in one year. The reader feels sorry for the boy also as ‘he’s lost his colour very far from here,’ the lack of detail about his location shows the reader that the boy may not have known where he was. ‘Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,’ Owen uses this metaphor to convey the boy pouring his life a way and he uses imagery so the reader can picture in their heads what he must have gone through and feel pity towards him. When Owen says that ‘one time he liked a blood smear down his leg,’ and he was ‘carried shoulder high,’ the boy used to like being a hero and impressing people such as his teammates and girls. This makes the reader feel sorry for the boy as no-one thinks he is a hero anymore and that was probably the reason he joined, to become a hero. Owen says that the boy had ‘drunk a peg,’ and ‘thought he’d better join,’ which provokes sympathy by showing the reader he only joined due to of peer pressure and he probably felt if he hadn’t joined he would be letting the football team down.

Owen provokes sympathy in the fourth stanza by portraying