Wilfred Owens’s poetry evokes the obscene horrors of war. Discuss with close reference to Mental Cases and at least one other poem studied. War is brutal and impersonal. It mocks the fantasy of individual heroism and the absurdity of utopian goals like democracy. The horrific post traumatic stresses are graphically exposed. In Mental Cases and Disabled by Wilfred Owen. They both expose a chronicle of the debilitating stages of post war traumatism; this is achieved through the employment of various poetic techniques. War is the annihilation of the human soul. In mental cases Owen narrates the effects of demoralised soldiers who tragically experienced war with him. The rhetorical question utilised by Owen indicates that the soldiers are questioning their own existence “Who are these” this is indicative that war has had a profound impact on them physiologically. The use of imagery is eloquent in supporting this notion “Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish, Baring teeth that leer like skulls’ teeth Wicked” allowing the audience to perceive war as diabolical and fearful. Disabled also renders the description of post-war effects. The use of negative connotations evokes this thematic concern, “He sat in a wheel chair waiting for dark”, highlighting how war has severely impacted his life, his left in a wheel chair isolated from society.
The title sets out as a motif, which aids Owen to convey his message of wars violation on the soldiers “disabled” Allowing the audience to further anticipate war as being nothing but a diabolical and detrimental trap. War is obscene and hostile in the eyes of the soldiers. Depictions of warfare and accumulated images are exposed throughout Mental Cases and Disabled. Owen utilizes Alliteration to elucidate the fast past death that takes place on the warfront “Multidionous Murders”. Owen integrates personification to lament the agony and torment these soldiers were enduring during war, “Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles”. This permits the audience to sympathise for the misery and pain the soldiers were experiencing. “Legless, sewn short at elbow” is the implementation of sibilance in Disabled by Owen, as he eloquently highlights the horrific tragedies that are magnified in war. The negative connotation further reveals the destitution the soldiers are continuing to confront, “Dark, grey, and shivered “emphasises the isolation of the wounded soldier. Drawing to the audience’s attention the horrors of war. In summation, the poems Mental Cases and Disabled are pivotal in recognizing the obscene horrors of war, as they both thoroughly reveal so. This is achieved via imagery, exposing the vivid obscenity and hostility of the warfront, assisted by poetic techniques, which in turn exemplifies the profound impact and horror of war.