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The Pity of War

The disabled is a poem which brings on the surface the aftermath of a decision which was taken by a teenager who volunteered to go for war. The pain that he undergoes both physically and in his mind is well elaborated by Wilfred Owen. This essay will explore the pity of war as seen in the poem.

In the first stanza, the author focuses on the physical weaknesses of the soldier. He is said to be legless with a short elbow. This is a clear indication that he has lost his legs and the hand. It is a pity that the soldier sees no need for him to live any longer. He does not seem to recognize what is happening around him as he is rather confused. The fact that the soldier is isolated is seen by the use of words such as dark and shivered. A comparison between the first stanza and the second stanza reveals that, before he met the unfortunate incidence that left him disabled, he used to be happy. The author says that the town used to swing so gay. He will never enjoy being with girls anymore as he has been confined on a wheelchair. This clearly is a pity of war.

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In yet another pity of war, the soldier recalls with nostalgia his hey days when he was a footballer. Anytime he got injured in the field, he would feel spirited given that the spectators used to cheer him up and he would feel honored and proud of that. Comparing this with what had happened to him in the battlefield we cannot help but have pity on him. The state of being disabled only brings frustration in his life and everybody including women has abandoned him.

Another pity of war which is witnessed by the reader is how the soldier, a former wizard of soccer had his dream short lived and was recruited as a soldier. This happens when he was only nineteen years of age. This is piteous. Going to war at that age, brought to an end his dream of being an international player of soccer to go play for his country. What is sad about the whole issue is the fact that, he has nothing to show from war apart from the disability something he was not born with.

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While going to the war, the soldier seemed not to fear anyone not even the Australians. When they were leaving for war everybody was happy for him. "Drafted out with drums and cheers" is what the author uses to show the reader how the situation was when the soldier was leaving home for war. It is ironic that this is not the case when he comes back crippled. The applause was nowhere to be seen. This is clearly a pity of war. When the narrator compares the cheers when he was going to war and the cheers when he was playing soccer frustration and disappointment is written n his face. His life took a different turn altogether. Since then, he has never been the same again.

A pity of war indeed it is! On coming back from war handicapped the soldier recalls that it is only a man who had pity on him and gave him fruits. He was grateful to the soldier for his boldness and he was also concerned about his soul. Comparing this with a multitude that had come to cheer him while going to the war one cannot help but to have pity on the disabled soldier.

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In the last stanza, the soldier pity's himself that he will have to spend sometime in the institute while he is sick. He has no choice but to live by their rules now that he is disabled. That night, he is quick to note that women were admiring men who were physically strong with all the body parts. This is used by the author intentionally to show how serious the condition that the soldier was left in affects his social life. The women simply ignored him and went after the physically fit. This is a clear indication that he seriously needs love. When the poem comes to an end, it is pity to see how time had passed and he was feeling cold yet there was no one to put him in bed. He is seriously starved and needs a woman. It is surely a pity of war.

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