Disabled by Wilfred Owen Introduction

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Disabled by Wilfred Owen


The poem is about a soldier who comes home from World War I with missing limbs and how this disability changes life. The poet (Wilfred Owen) was in military hospital being treated for shell shock.

Soldiers at that time would return home with missing body parts or severely wounded. There wasn’t much to be done for many soldiers that were in the front-line, due to lack of medical care.

Stanza 1

The sentence “waiting for the dark” shows that the soldier has nothing positive to look forward to-only the arrival of the end of the world. The word “shivered” in line 2 shows that he is outside and this is backed up by the line “through the park”. This soldier appears to have lost his legs and forearms eg: “legless, sewn short at elbow.” and also the line also describes that the sleeves of his suit have had to be cut short because of the loss of his arms.

Voices of boys made him feel sad and it reminded him of his childhood, Not long ago he was with these boys Now it seems like a distant memory. eg: “Voices of boys rang…a hymn” That shows that the soldier was robbed of his innocence and naivety. He is also jealous of the boys he left behind as their innocence hasn’t been destroyed.

Stanza 2

This Stanza 2 is about the narrator reminiscing about how things were used to be before he was injured. This time he used to go to town and party with his friends.Girls glanced at him because he was football hero.If he had not signed/joined the army girls would still have admired him. Heroes are not supposed to be injured. It would appear as if the soldier has given up on life as much as life has given up on him. He wallows in self pity. He has unfortunately believed that he is not a real man anymore. He feels pity on himself and he keeps others away from him.He is projecting his own feelings of disgust on others happiness.

Stanza 3

Line 14 describes the boy (an artist) who was smitten “Now, he is old; his back will never brace;”.The addition “last year” suggest that he did not look like that anymore. His face had lost the boyhood charm and has been replaced by a face hard and worn by the ravages of war. Despite being young he describes himself as old, “he is old…”,”He’s lost his colour very far from here,” This implies that he has lost a lot of his blood. The injuries are causing him to realize the reality of war that is that war is not something to consider as glorious.

Stanza 4

At one time the sign of blood in ones body was considered good and honorable thing. In this stanza the poet is reminiscing about when he was listed to join the army. It was after a football game when he was drunk that he signed to join the army which “he wonder why.” he is trying to ask himself now whether he joined because he was generally interested or is it the influence of girls pleading and effect of alcohol. He did not need to prove his worth to the recruitment officers.

Stanza 5

They didn’t question him of his age. He was just 19 year lad.”smiling they wrote his lie: aged nineteen years.”. He never knew about war politics. The only thing that worried him was what people thought about him. This may include promotion in rank, pay arrears and honorable future promotions. when men left for war they were sent off with drums and cheers and a big parade.

Stanza 6

There were few people who welcomed him back home. “but not as crowds cheer goal.” No one wanted to see negative aspects of the war. There was only one man who thanked him for defending in war for his country. The man maybe a former soldier.

Stanza 7

The soldier will now spend a few years in war hospital. where they will probably experiment with different treatment on him until they decide that there is nothing they can do for him. He will then be discharged from hospital and begin to receive monthly disability checks from the government. Now women didn’t look at him as they used to.”Tonight he noticed how the women’s eyes passed from him…”. He seems depressed by the fat that he will never be a whole man again and he will probably never express a love for women..

efugee Blues

Refugee Blues by W.H. Auden

w.h. auden (1907-1973)

W.H. Auden (1907-1973)


This poem is set in 1930′s when the Jewish people were been prosecuted by Nazi people. Refugee were people who were driven out of their home or country because of war. Blues is a slow, sad, rhythmic music developed by black Americans. The worlds in which music deals with happy feelings about love or life.


The speaker is talking to someone “My dear” (perhaps his wife), The language and tone is very conversational. Each stanza intensifies the situation in the poem. The first stanza brings out that the refugees are homeless. Though there are millions in the city all of whom have some kind of home but the refugees have nowhere to go.

In stanza 2,the couple cannot stay in their country. It compares two living people with the old yew tree. “officially dead” means you cannot make passport. This section tells us how the refugees are trying to get help. The refugees cannot leave the country due to lack of passport and hence they are described as officially dead, though they are indeed alive. The refugees are treated coldly by the committee and council. They are politely pushed aside but no real help is offered.

At the public meeting the speaker demonises the refugees as thieves. This is made to incite ordinary people to hate Jews. A metaphorical storm breaks over the whole of Europe continent as Hitler sentences them to death.The tone of the final stanza is very bitter. The comparison that the poet uses are testimony to these; Pet animals are treated better then Jews.eg: “saw a Door opened and a cat let in;…”

Fish are free and Birds are free, Poet blames Nazi regime for creating a environment in which natural things act far more better than humans. The poet further uses cruel contrast. For eg: he has a dream of a huge building with many room for everybody except Jews.

In the final stanza the poet enlightens a brightening future for the Jews but now Jews are hunted down by 1000′s of people. That practically means that even though that the Jews are killed right now however this killing of Jews will somewhat end in the Future.

The Setting of the poem

  • The Refugees are in a vast city which still has no accommodation for the Jews. eg: “not one of them was ours…”

  • The freedom and comfort of animals is contrasted unfavourably with the Jews situation. eg: “saw fish swimming as if they were free…”

  • Jews are presented as isolated in a vast winter landscape.”stood at a great plain in the falling snow”

The use of Language

  1. The Poet has used direct conversational language. eg “say this city …”,”my dear….”

  2. Use of contrasts. eg: “Ten million souls”,”Ten thousand soldiers”

  3. Repetition of some lines in each stanza for emphasis “we cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now”

  4. symbolism for example of storms. eg: “thunder rumbling in the sky”

  5. Use of ironic natural images. eg: “The birds in the trees sang at their ease”

  6. Language with religious connotations. eg: “Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro;…”

An Unknown Girl

An Unknown Girl by Moniza Alvi

moniza alvi

Moniza Alvi

Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan (Her father was a Pakistani and her mother was British.). She left Pakistan when she was a few months old and she moved on to live in England.

The poet has used this poem as a tool to explore her cultural identity. The poem is apparently set in India and it is autobiographical in tone . The narrator feels her cultural roots and traditions have been re-affirmed and re-awakened in the bazaar by the unknown girls simple act of hennaing hands.

This new lease of life filters through into her descriptions of the market as she brings it alive with her new found energy and confidence.

Structure and Form

It is a free verse, which suits the narrators exploration of thought. As one long verse it flows like a stream, like consciousness as she describes what is happening in and around her.

The poem is visually pleasing and is centered layout is reminiscent of her newly decorated henna hand.


The Poems vocabulary places it into the poems exotic, foreign location. Which are brought to life in several ways by the narrator. Eg: “bazaar,rupees,henna,Kameez” although the girl herself “unknown” She nevertheless shows great skill and precision in her work and is therefore greatly respected. Eg: “she steadies with her”,”Very deftly”.

Textures are often described appealing to the sense of touch. Eg: “wet brown line”,”satin peach knee” many others…

Sounds are contrasted for Eg: “now the furious streets are hushed”

Colourful images come alive Eg: “peacock”,”brown line”,”the amber bird beneath”

The narrator initially applies her existing cultural references to the girls Artwork.”She is icing my hand”. Her traditional cultural roots seem to be established.”I have new brown veins”,”I am Clinging to these firm peacock lines” as if she now has a new force flowing through veins.

The personal inner conflict between cultures that the narrator experiences is also demonstrated publicly by the shop dummies. Whose sport “western perms” and other likewise posters for ‘Miss India’. A competition for western origin perhaps require a modern or less modest presentation. Then the Indian culture traditionally advocates

The simple act of hennaing the hand has initiated a powerful sense of yearning by the narrator of her roots.This is communicated by the repetition of what “clinging” and the subsequent of longing. Although the henna might physically attract, we feel certain and convinced that the feelings have been reawakened by this experience and this experience will continue to flourish.

Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom

Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom by Marcia Douglas

electricity comes to cocoa bottom

Electricity comes to cocoa bottom


This Poem is about Electricity coming to a Caribbean Village, which does not have modern amenities. The adults, the children, the birds, the animals are drawn to Mr. Samuel’s House.

Where he is preparing to turn on Electric lights for the First Time. Sadly there is no one to record this Historic moment.

Stanza one

The First word “Then” takes the reader straight into the action as though it was a story. The names that are used makes us feel as if it is a real scenario. E.g: “Cocoa Bottom is a small Village which may or may not exist”. But the word “Cocoa Bottom” sounds convincing. The language used gives a sense of importance and suspense.

Nature and Human Beings are united in their interest, like the children are prepared for a long stay. E.g: “They camped on the grass bank outside his house,their lamps filled with oil,”. The Birds “swooped in…congregating in…” and the Breeze “held its breath”. The writer is using all these to give the natural creatures,Trees and nature the ability to anticipate and feel the same way as Humans. This makes the Poem more Dramatic.

Power and Light are emphasized by description “the sky turn yellow, orange.” Light is referred in the poem through, Children’s oil Lamps, the natural light of sunset, The Potential Light of fireflies.

The day fades into night. This softness is emphasized by the comparison for E.g:”evening came as soft as chiffon curtains”.

Ends with a Repetition. E.g:”Closing. Closing.”

Stanza Two

There is a contrast between the beginning of the stanza and end of the last one. The single exclaimed word “Light” conveys the way light burst into brightness when current was switched on.

The starkness of the light shown by Mr.Samuels appearing in silhouette (A portrait shortly standing out against the background light)

After the Dramatic shortening of lines they let them again gathering momentum. The writer has used words imaginatively. Some words suggest movement, For E.g:”fluttering”,”swaying”. Some suggest sound that suggest onomatopoeia, E.g:”gasp”,”Whispered”. some words are repeated for emphasis, such as “swing”.

The respond of nature here, also indicates that this is an awesome moment. E.g:”the long grass bent forward”. The writer has made this moment very special. This is undercut by mysterious voice.(Which could be of God). This brings the question; If there is such an important moment. why isn’t there anyone to record this.

This Stanza ends on a sad note perhaps because no one can write, or they have no material to record it. It has taken the poet sometime after the event to commemorate on what had happened.

Stanza Three

This stanza begins negatively with the statement “no one…” yet this voice is heard by some warm rocks. This part is also an anticlimax that the children had to go home in the dark using their oil lamps. The concluding moment is the opportunity to celebrate and record this event has gone…..


The Last Night (from Charlotte Gray)

The Last Night (from Charlotte Gray) by Sebastian Faulks

sebastian faulks

Sebastian Faulks

This extract comes from a much larger novel known as Charlotte Gray. It is set in France which was occupied and controlled by the Germans during the

2nd world war. Jewish people including two small children are waiting to be taken to a concentrated camp. The two children are Andrew and Jacob. At the concentration camp they will face death, however they may not be fully be aware of this. The atmosphere in the text is filled with tension. Each detail helps to build the picture of one shot sequence of time in a period of war. For eg: “…which the deportees might write a final message.” The word “Final” could mean last message before they die.

The phrase “…camp orders forbade access to the post.” means the Jews were discriminated against living in the atmosphere of fear.

“A woman came with a sandwich for each child to take on the journey.” In this phrase a woman is introduced who is unknown. She is sympathetic with the children.

“André was lying on the straw,……Jacob’s limbs were intertwined with his for warmth.” This phrase shows Andre depends on Jacob.


Andre is the elder of the two children. He looks after his brother Jacob very carefully.http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121014062705/edexceligcseenglish2009/images/thumb/7/78/charlotte_gray_005.jpg/274px-charlotte_gray_005.jpg

Jacob is the younger brother of Andre.

Jewish Orderly: A person employed by Germans to supervise Jews. He is a Jew himself and he can be treated as a traitor to the German Nazis because he helps the deportees.

Commandant/Policemen: They seem to be going about their Jobs with a lot of efficiency.

Gendarme(s): A Policeman who seems to be actively involved in what’s going on.

The unknown Woman: She is an ordinary French wife who is trying to help by throwing food to the deportees, even though they never reach them . [I am talking about that women used in the phrase.. "He saw a woman’s face in which the eyes were fixed with terrible ferocity on a child beside him"]

Bus Driver: He is transporting deportees to the station/concentration camp. His is a difficult Job which makes him wrestle with his conscience.

The Language

The writer doesn’t emphasize over details. The tone used is a matter of fact and the description is ordinary. The grimness of the condition is shown by phrase “André was lying on the straw, the soft bloom of his cheek laid, uncaring, in the dung.”

The writer uses contrasts. Some contrast is implied for instance Five white-and-green municipal buses are ordinary in their use but their purpose is to take the deportees on their final journey.

In the phrase “Five white-and-green municipal buses had come in through the main entrance, and now stood trembling in the wired-off corner of the yard.” Single words carry huge importance, ‘Trembling” also ironically applies to the deportees. More complex language is used for special effect eg: the use of words terrible ferocity in the phrase “he saw a woman’s face in which the eyes were fixed with terrible ferocity on a child beside him.”

Words and phrases that suggest sound and movement makes the passage more dramatic eg: “sudden ripple”,”homely thudding of a Parisian bus”,”quickening of muscle” etc…


Veronica by Adewale Maja-Pearce

olympus digital cameraPlot Summary

  • The Story takes place in a rural village in Nigeria.

  • The main characters are Okeke and Veronica. The two are childhood friends.

  • Veronica is the poorer and the more unfortunate one. She had to bring up her brothers and sisters because she had a brittle and drunk father and a weak mother.

  • Okeke lives in the village for school. Eventually going to university to become a doctor. Out of compassion he urges Veronica to leave but she refuses, to cite family ties. “Don’t talk like that. They are my family, that is enough”

  • Ten years passed before Okeke’s job bring him back to the poverty of the village. Veronica is in the old hut, her parents dead as her siblings gone. She has a baby and husband who has escaped the war from the North, but still she refuses to leave.

  • After another 3 years her remainings family is dead she is close to death Okeke longs to help her but she prefers to die. Her final wish to see Okeke is granted. When she dies on his arms, he buries her near the stream where they frequent met in their childhood.



  • She is the eldest child of brutal and careless father.

  • She helped in bringing up the other children and was beaten up, when she is young. The responsibility for bringing up the other children had fallen on her.

  • She was semi-illiterate had no qualification.

  • She is driven ,more by traditional values, family values and therefore she remains loyal to the family. For Eg: “I can’t just leave my family”. she also resists changes in her life.

  • She is assigned to her fate this is called fatalism. For Eg: “I leave that to others, my own place is here”

  • Veronica is lost all her hope in staying alive, she had no reason to leave.

  • She had very low expectations in life. She had no ambition or goals to live for, therefore she becomes unpleasent.


  • Okeke lived in the same village as Veronica. His family is sligthly well off.

  • He proceeded to school when he did well and became a doctor.

  • He is very helpfull to Veronica. He encourages her to leave the village but she declines. He also came to see her when he was posted back to the village as a doctor. He finally came to see her when she was sick and dieing.

  • He is ambitious as he had very high expectations in life. He was dissatisfied with the village and wanted to go to the city and make a good living. Quiet by chance, after many years he was allocated to the same village.

  • He is disillusioned with veronica’s attitude of self destruction. He pitties of and by extension of the entire village.

  • Okeke belived that he would grow through the path of education and that he would have a good career after university. He believed in himself and he also believed in working hard to change his status.

The Necklace

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

437px-guy_de_maupassant_fotograferad_av_félix_nadar_1888This story is a translation from a French story written by Guy de Maupassant. The setting of the story is in France in the 19th century. When the society was divided into social classes.

In this story Monsieur & Madame Loisel are not rich nor poor. They depend on little money. Monsieur Loisel works as a junior clerk in a government office.


Madame Loisel is the central character in the story. We learn that she is pretty talented , young but very unhappy. There are several reasons why she is unhappy.

  • Her father had to work for a living.

  • No chance of meeting some rich men.

  • Her father was a minor civil servant.

  • She drifts into marriage “so she went along…”

  • She felt that luxuries and soft living were her rights. eg: “for she felt that she was intended….”

  • She experiences varied emotions.


She is very ungrateful woman. When her husband brought her a dress to attend the party she demanded for more instead of thanking him for the dress.

She is selfish. She just wanted to shine and outshine.

She faces her problems heroically. When she decided to buy another necklace for 36000francs. Though they couldn’t afford it.

She was proud and foolish.

A Hero

A Hero by R. K. Narayan

The Plota hero

The success of the story is dependent on its pace. A variety of methods is used to hold the interest of the reader. It begins with a newspaper report then dialogue is used to explain the characters motivation then there is a long piece of dramatic description which gives an inside into swamis thoughts and feelings. The tension suddenly falls after swami bites the burglar. When the devil he fears turns out to be an easily deterred burglar, the tension is dissolved. There is a final twist in the irony at the end when he returns to sleep in the same room with his grandmother. We are back to things at the start. Swami has won.

Pictorial Representation


Click to enlarge


  1. Swami’s father

  • Swami’s father is overbearing

  • he is cruel eg: “If you do it, mind you, I will make you the laughing-stock of your school.”

  • He sounds pompous and feels he is self important.

2.   Swami’s Mother

  • She blames granny for spoiling swami

  • she responds positively to swamis pleading look

  • in the end she loses temper with her husband

3.   Burglar

  • He adds to the comedy of the story

  • He is described as one of the most notorious housebreakersof the district

  • His defeat in the hands of a small boy is humiliating

4.   Swami

  • He is a coward and feared boy. (he was terrified when he slept alone in the office.”

  • He doubts his as well as others bravery. like when he doubted a boy had fought a tiger.

  • He is a sly boy. eg: “From the first of next month I’ll sleep alone, Father.”

  • He is superstitious because he thinks and believes in ghosts and shadowy figures.

  • He is decisive because he bites the burglar in no time.

  • Finally he shows humility when glory showers on him.

  • He is extremely relieved at the end when his father gives up on him.

Use of language

  • The writer uses language that creates a sense of indian setting eg:”We are going to admit even elders in our cricket club hereafter.”

  • Dialog is used in many instances to bring out the feelings of the characters and to increase tension. eg: “How can it be, Father?…”

  • The writer uses questions to show how swami tests the fathers logic and his limits. eg “Will you at least leave the door open?”

  • The writer has used images associated with supernatural powers.

  • Exaggeration(hyperbole) for eg: “If I don’t sleep at once I shall perhaps die—” and “…there may be scorpions behind your law books.”.

  • use of onamatopoea eg:”the ticking of the clock, rustle of trees, snoring sounds,…”

  • The opening is quiet dramatic. it puts the reader right in the middle of the act eg: “For Swami events took an unexpected turn.”

  • use of Suspence eg:”After reading it through, Father looked at Swami fixedly…” this is done to increase the pace of the story.and to create interest.

  • use of short simple sentences to build tension. eg:”Swami felt cut off from humanity.” and “Swami groaned in despair.”

  • Use of ellipses to build suspense and to show what swami thinks.

  • use of rhetorical questions to give the reader a clear insight into swami’s mind eg:”so why should he wait?”

King Schahriar and his brother


Purely for Entertainment [Fictitious]. Hope this will boost your morale.

King Schahriar and his brother (From The Arabian Nights)

This is the first story in the collection “The Arabian nights” or “The thousand and one nights” The story originated from persian,(iran)(India)(egypt).

Although they can be dismissed as children tales Many of them appeal to a wider audience and the theme used are mostly adult.

The setting is established in the first paragraph The geographical area is middle east India and china.



She is a device for telling stories.

She is extraordinarily beautiful and academically brilliant

she outshines her younger sister Dinarzade.

She is her fathers favorite

She single handedly devices and carries out a plan designed to stop sultans barbarous practice.

She is motivated by the wish to save women from sultans tyrannical behaviour and desire to save her country.

Sometimes she behaves unpredictably and surprises the reader.

she asks her father to allow her to marry the sultan even though she knows the consequences. when her father pleads with her not to cause and anguish she persists. She receives the news of being expected by the sultan as the most pleasant thing in the world.

Her tears are not caused by fears but they are planned.

She is a lady of high principles. Eg: “I am Determined to stop this barbarous practice…”

She is obstinate. she is patriotic. Eg:”my death will be a glorious one, and if I succeed I shall have done a great service to my country.”

She is talented and intelligent. “but her sister was clever and courageous in the highest degree.”

She is brilliant. I.e She has great stories to tell.

2)King Schahriar

A very Kind Man- He gave part of the kingdom to his Brother.

Vengeful- He devised a plan to take revenge on all women after his wife betrayed him.

Tyrannical- Became very cruel murderer after the betrayal.

Threatens the Vizir with death if he fails to carry out his wishes.

Naive – He did not know he was being tricked.

3) Grand Vizir

He is also a loving subject of the sultan E.g: “Whatever the cost, I will obey you. Though a father, I am also your subject.”

Predicament makes the reader sympathise with him.

Use Of Language

The language seem to be old fashioned because of the use of dominions, subjects etc. This is appropriate because the story is set in distant part.

The beginning establishes a romantic exotic setting. E.g:”In the chronicles of the ancient dynasty of the Sassanidae, who reigned for about four hundred years, from Persia to the borders of China, beyond the great river Ganges itself…”

Most of the description is in superlative. E.g: “who was said to be the best monarch of his time ” caused the greatest horror in the town. It gives the story background of extreme power and amazing people.

Many words relate to powerful emotions. E.g: Love,real grief, deepest shame, and sorrow. This is because the story deals with highs and the lows of human emotions.

Sentences are used in a simple way but possess power. E.g: “ So Scheherazade began.” The phrase is short but complex in meaning.

The writer uses dialogue to develop the story almost like a play. ““Let there be no mistake, vizir,” said the Sultan.”

The writer has used words which convey extremes of feelings after opposition. Eg:”His subjects loved him, and his neighbors [sic] feared him,”

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