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'Disabled' by Wilfred Owen

2012
by

Paul Hanson

on 8 October 2015

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Transcript of 'Disabled' by Wilfred Owen

'Disabled' by Wilfred Owen
Rally Robin
Starter
All Heads Together
Peer Assessment
Green Pen mark your shoulder partner's PEACE paragraph, checking to see whether they have hit all the assessment criteria. Give to stars and a target accordingly.
Match the poetic methods/techniques with their definitions on the handout in front of you.
Extension: how many can you find in 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'?
Discuss, with the rest of your group, the similarities between the experiences of Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) and the character in Wilfred Owen's 'Disabled'. Use the whiteboards to list all your ideas.
Disabled
He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.

About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light-blue trees
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim,
In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands,
All of them touch him like some queer disease.

There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race,
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.
One time he liked a bloodsmear down his leg,
After the matches carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. He wonders why . . .
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts.

That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts,
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years.
Germans he scarcely thought of; and no fears
Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.

Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul.
Now, he will spend a few sick years in Institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
To-night he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come?
With your shoulder partner, identify at least one quotation for each of the following:
why he enlisted in the army
what he can't do anymore
what he misses
how girls react to him now
All Write Rally Robin
With your shoulder partner, highlight what you think is the most important word in each line. As you do so, annotate your copy of the poem to show what it makes you think of.
Whiteboards!
Write the quotation on the whiteboard, when I read out the poetic method and give you the line.
All Write
In your English Passports, answer the following question in PEACE paragraphs:
How does Wilfred Owen
contrast
the man
before
and
after
the war
to shatter
the notion that
war is romantic
and makes men heroes?
Exemplar
In ‘Disabled’, the speaker in the poem seems sad that ‘Now he will never feel again how slim/Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands’. These tender signs of femininity are forever denied him because he has lost his legs; Owen uses the heartbreaking simile ‘All of them touch him like some queer disease’ to show how they respond to him now. The poor man cannot feel his legs (they’ve been amputated), he can’t feel ‘girls’ waists’ or their ‘warm hands’ and when they ‘touch’ him it’s like they might catch something horrible. So much for soldiers returning to a ‘land fit for heroes’ promised by politicians at the time. Later in the poem, he notices ‘how the women's eyes/Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.’ His desire to be a hero, to be a ‘god in kilts’ (powerful metaphor) has robbed him of his manhood. The young women clearly want someone ‘strong’, someone ‘whole’, both of which he is not. War has not made him a hero but it has made him only half a man.
In ‘Disabled’, the speaker in the poem seems sad that ‘Now he will never feel again how slim/Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands’. These tender signs of femininity are forever denied him because he has lost his legs; Owen uses the
heartbreaking simile
‘All of them touch him like some queer disease’ to show how they respond to him now. The poor man cannot feel his legs (they’ve been amputated), he can’t feel ‘girls’ waists’ or their ‘warm hands’ and when they ‘touch’ him it’s like they might catch something horrible. So much for soldiers returning to a
‘land fit for heroes
’ promised by politicians at the time.
Later in the poem
, he notices ‘how the women's eyes/Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.’ His desire to be a hero, to be a ‘god in kilts’
(powerful metaphor)
has robbed him of his manhood. The young women clearly want someone ‘strong’, someone ‘whole’, both of which he is not. War has not made him a hero but it has made him only half a man.
In ‘Disabled’, the speaker in the poem seems sad that
‘Now he will never feel again how slim/Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands’
. These tender signs of femininity are forever denied him because he has lost his legs; Owen uses the heartbreaking simile ‘
All of them touch him like some queer disease
’ to show how they respond to him now.The poor man cannot feel his legs (they’ve been amputated), he can’t feel
‘girls’ waists’
or their
‘warm hands’
and when they
‘touch’
him it’s like they might catch something horrible. So much for soldiers returning to a ‘land fit for heroes’ promised by politicians at the time. Later in the poem, he notices
‘how the women's eyes/Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.’
His desire to be a hero, to be a
‘god in kilts’
(powerful metaphor) has robbed him of his manhood. The young women clearly want someone
‘strong’
, someone
‘whole’
, both of which he is not. War has not made him a hero but it has made him only half a man.
In ‘Disabled’,
the speaker in the poem seems sad
that ‘Now he will never feel again how slim/Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands’.
These tender signs of femininity are forever denied him because he has lost his legs
; Owen uses the heartbreaking simile ‘All of them touch him like some queer disease’ to show how they respond to him now. The poor man cannot feel his legs (they’ve been amputated), he can’t feel ‘girls’ waists’ or their ‘warm hands’ and
when they ‘touch’ him it’s like they might catch something horrible.

So much for soldiers returning to a ‘land fit for heroes’
promised by politicians at the time
.
Later in the poem, he notices ‘how the women's eyes/Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.’
His desire to be a hero, to be a ‘god in kilts’
(powerful metaphor)
has robbed him of his manhood.

The young women clearly want someone ‘strong’, someone ‘whole’, both of which he is not. War has not made him a hero but it has made him only half a man.
Full transcript