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The poem also illustrates how the man’s lifestyle changed dramatically through contrasts between his past life and his current state to show the theme of loss. He was once described as a great athlete and was popular with girls but now he is in a wheelchair and they touch him like a queer disease”, and he notices how “their eyes pass from him to the strong men that were whole”, this is contrast to before when he was the centre of attention. He is no longer seen as a normal person. The man notes that once there was an artist was once eager to paint him but compared to before “Now he is old, his back will never brace; he’s lost his colour very far from home”. The analogy is drawn between being a soldier and playing sports highlights the selfish motives the man had for joining the army such as ‘jewelled hilts, daggers in plaid socks and smart salutes’ which can be seen as a very naïve view of the army, it also acts as a constant reminder to the man that his pride and vanity had caused him to lose the exact things he had been proud of: he would never again run in a field or score a winning goal, he would never again be praised for being a hero but will only pitied and mocked endlessly for being a cripple. Things that would previously have been boasted about such as the small injuries received in a football match, and being carried on the shoulders of his team mates after a match have become permanent sources of sorrow as he no longer has his legs and needs to be carried around helplessly by nurses and doctors. This contrast is chilling and distressing as it shows his loss though comparisons between his past and his present state. The idea of how much he has lost is made worse when the ‘Only a solemn man who brought him fruits, Thanked him; and then enquired about his soul.’, this section is quite significant as it shows that there is only one man who cares to ask how he is and only then he is only caring because of his own selfish reasons and does not really care about how the man is doing, this helps further the theme of loss on ‘Disabled’. The poem ends on a sad and mundane note as the man wonders why “they” do not come and put him to bed. It is a reminder that he will have to have others do things for him from now on, this shows how the man is now reliant on others to help him and that he has nothing to live for anymore furthering the sense of loss in ‘Disabled’.


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