Analysis Of How Writers Present Loss In Out Out And Disabled

First, let’s define loss. What is loss? Loss is when you are deprived of the things that you want or love. For example, losing someone close to you, or your family, or going bankrupt. Two poems that deal with loss in an honest, dark way are: “Disabled”, which was a war poetry written in 1917 in English by Wilfred Owen, a soldier and poet, and Robert Frost’s “Out Out”, which deals with the death and grief of a child. The poems both deal with some form of disability. You can be disabled if you are limited in your mental or physical abilities.

“Disabled”, a poem by Robert Frost, explores the physical and mental impact of loss on a young teenager. It’s a serious disability that has made it impossible for him to move as freely as he used to. Not only was he physically affected, but also mentally and emotionally. This had mental and psychological effects as well. In the story, the character is described as being depressed and extremely suicidal. Wilfred also uses several literary devices. Owen uses many literary techniques in this poem.

Owen chose not to dwell on war’s false glory but rather the tragic elements of the conflict. This poem is a reflection of the war experience of a soldier who has been disabled. He expresses his disbelief, confusion, and most importantly, his disappointment at being rejected. This poem is both a personal testament and could also represent all disabled veterans who have suffered in a similar way. Alliteration can speed up reading. Owen’s alliteration is used to illustrate the suddenness with which soldiers’ lives can change. Alliteration can be found in the first two lines of the stanza. Daniel Pigg divides ‘Disabled” into seven stanzas that are then broken down into five short vignettes which represent the soldier. Pigg claims that the first verse, or vignette “sets a stage for understanding [the poet’s] alienated figure”. The reader will notice that this speaker is in an enviable position because he doesn’t have any first-hand experiences of being an amputee. The speaker describes a legless’ person, who is ‘waiting until dark’, wearing a ghastly suit in gray’. (Lines 1-3) This image creates sympathy, as the reader is empathetic to his condition. The phrase ‘waiting for darkness’ can be read as a waiting for death. The ‘ghastly gray suit’ could also be a vestige of ghosts. The subject, seated next to a large window, is disturbed by the sounds of male children playing outside. He becomes’saddened’ and unable to sleep. As Owen assumed, the reader should assume that the subject’s sadness is a result of memories from the past when he too played in the park. Does the reader assume that a subject can no longer enjoy play and pleasure (Line 5)? Owen has successfully molded his character into an Other who is convincing, a man on the verge of death.

Owen attempts to convey the theme that Disabled is about loss through the rhyme scheme, which is relatively regular. Words rhyming with each other within two or even three lines within a stanza. The rhyme pattern overlaps in new stanzas to link the narrative. The opening verse, which shows the activity of the day being overshadowed and replaced by stillness, is a metaphor of how time will affect the young person in the rest the poem. The past is referred to in many ways: ‘about the time’. The suit is described as a “ghastly” and ‘legless”, with the elbows being “sewn shorter”.

“Out, Out”, a film about an accident-injured boy, tells a tragic tale. As he was about to enter the house for dinner, his hand is cut off by a buzzsaw. He then dies of blood loss. The poem reminds us that we are all vulnerable and can suffer tragedy at any given time.

The title ‘Out, out short candle’ is a reference from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth in this play is shocked by the news of his wife’s demise and comments about the briefness of life. This refers to the fragility and unpredictable nature of life. The title also refers to the poem’s theme, which is how unpredictable and fragile the life is. Personification is used to convey the theme of ‘Out Out’. For example, the Buzz Saw personified by the author constantly buzzes and barks while leaping out of the hand of the boy in excitement. The words “leaped or appeared to leap out of the boy’s hands” and the word “excitement” used to describe it help to create a mental image for the reader that the saw is a self-aware object. This will be used later to show the theme loss. The poem is written with blank verse that deviates from iambic. This creates tension for the reader to feel as they read. Robert Frost states in the first line of his poem that he wishes the workers would “call it a Day” and give the boy a “half hour” that “counts so much”, he is teasing the reader about the tragic outcome. The boy’s nearly severed hand leads to a sense of loss. The boy is mature enough to know that his blood loss is too great to continue. The boy’s hand is nearly severed, and he desperately attempts to “stop the life from leaking” out, but that is all he can do, as a result of the fact that there is nothing able to be done, including him, to save his life. The boy would like to maintain his physical integrity in death. He would prefer to have his hand intact than to lose it. This is a powerful way to convey the feeling of loss.

Robert Frost uses imagery to show the theme “loss” when he says: “the observer at his pulse took terror ….”. This shows that it may not be a family or friend who is present when the boy dies. This image is cold and lacks humanity, which helps to demonstrate the theme. The boy’s death is shown as being without many family members. The narrator uses diminishing words near the end of the poetry. This creates a pause and emphasizes what was just said. Here, the theme of death is conveyed by showing how weak and helpless the boy feels because his life is gone. Robert Frost says that at the end, the workers,’since they were no longer the dead one, turned to their business’. This is a way of expressing the loss theme, as it shows the family was not affected by the death of the boy and carried on without him. Onomatopoeia also plays a major role in the poem, as it highlights the extended personification. For example, the phrase: “And they, since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs” shows that the family did not feel much emotion when the child died and instead just carried on with their work without the boy.

The two poems “Disabled”, written by Wilfred and Robert Frost, both deal with loss. These poems both have a similar theme, that of loss. Both the protagonists experience accidental amputations. Robert Frost, Wilfred, and both have succeeded in capturing the audience, as well a feeling of sympathy, with their poems ‘Disabled,’ and Out, out.’ With their language devices and poetic forms, both poets have done a good job of capturing their audience’s attention. This poem uses a lot of imagery to help the reader visualize the loss the protagonist is experiencing. This allows the two poetry to convey the theme effectively.

The two poems are similar in theme and they both address the issue of inequality for children. Both poems have young boys who die in both poems for doing something they shouldn’t. Both authors wrote to illustrate the tragedy of loss. It’s a deeply moving story for me because young people shouldn’t be working on adult tasks that are better left to older, more responsible adults. Instead they should enjoy their teenage years and their friendships with their families.


  • jessicawilson

    Jessica Wilson is a 33-year-old essay writer and blogger from the UK. She has been writing since she was a teenager and has always been interested in writing about personal experiences and thoughts. Jessica has written for a number of online magazines and websites and has also published a number of essays and short stories. Jessica currently works as a freelance writer.