How Do Owen and Auden Express the Negative Effects of War in Their Poems, Disabled & Refugee Blues

Topics: World War II, Poetry, W. H. Auden Pages: 2 (751 words) Published: March 11, 2013
How do Owen and Auden convey the negative effects of war in their poems ‘Disabled’ and ‘Refugee Blues’’?

In the poems Disabled and Refugee Blues, the writers, Owen and Auden respectively, convey the negative effects of war in a variety of ways. Through the use structuring, literary and figurative devices, Auden subtly shows the negative effects of war, whereas Owen does this it more explicitly, showing the de-humanizing, gruesome effects of war.

In the poem Disabled, Owen displays the more gruesome, horrendous reality; he does this in a variety of ways. Firstly he uses a randomized stanza structure, the stanzas do not have a consistent amount of lines. The stanza structure is emphasizing how the soldier’s think, because most soldiers act upon their animalistic instinct, Owen has used this idea rely on instinct to create his structure, not only does this confuse the reader but Owen also tries to emphasize on how the war has affected the soldiers. Owen also uses a lot of different literary devices to help him, metaphor is used throughout the poem to help develop the poem, “Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn”, the voices of boys made the soldier feel sad; they make him remember his childhood, it was not long ago that he was like those boys, running freely, however it seems like a distant memory. Owen is emphasizing that the war robbed the soldier of his innocence and naivety, he is also a little jealous of them, they still believe in fairy tales and happy endings, whereas the soldier understands the true colors of reality.

“In the old times, before he threw away his knees/All of them touch him like some queer disease” these two quotes, emphasize on the fact that the soldier threw away his legs when he enlisted in the army, if he didn’t sign up he wouldn’t be disabled and the girls would still be flirting with him. The girls do not want to be with someone who is crippled; heroes do not get injured. It seems like he has given up on life as much as life...
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