In every American war combined, about 1.2 million soldiers have died fighting in battle. Many look past the effects and consequences that going to war can lead to and every soldier is assumed to be a hero. Others believe that killing anybody, whether they are innocent or on a battlefield, is in no way honorable. Writers who protest war use imagery, irony, and structure to explain the negative effects of battle.
Where innumerous catastrophic events are simultaneously occurring and altering the mental capability of its viewers eternally, war is senseless killing. The participants of war that are ‘fortunate’ enough to survive become emotionally distraught civilians. Regardless of the age of the people entering war, unless one obtains the mental capacity to witness numerous deaths and stay unaffected, he or she is not equipped to enter war. Kurt Vonnegut portrays the horrors of war in Slaughterhouse Five, through the utilization of satire, symbolism, and imagery.
The topic of war is hard to imagine from the perspective of one who hasn't experienced it. Literature makes it accessible for the reader to explore the themes of war. Owen and Remarque both dipcik what war was like for one who has never gone through it. Men in both All Quiet on the Western Front and “Dulce Et Decorum” experience betrayal of youth, horrors of war and feelings of camaraderie.
“The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” by Randall Jarrell is able to accomplish so many thing with so little lines-mainly through the use of metaphor and diction. It explains the terrors of wars in gruesome detail and explains the ways in which wars, in a sense “breed” and “birth” death. To some, this poem is seen as the ultimate poem of war, and rightly
War is often misinterpreted as an exciting occurrence filled with glory and acts of terrific heroism. In reality, it is brutal and serves as an effective simulation of hell. Timothy Findley's The Wars depicts an inhumane world where individuals are taken out of their elements and are forced to struggle to hold onto their humanity amidst the horrors. The lack of rules in war targets and destroys every aspect of what it means to be human. It heavily interferes with one's motivations, desires and purpose of living. The war also targets one's innocence and brings about suffering both physically and mentally.
Joseph Conrad once observed that “a belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.” As a result of the violence that is necessary during wartime, soldiers are permitted to engage in savage behavior that is normally forbidden in society. In The Wars by Timothy Findley, however, soldiers act in violent ways even when they are not actively engaged in battle. The inherently savage nature of humankind is evident when Robert Ross kills the German soldier after the gas attack, when Robert is raped in the baths, and when Robert kills Captain Leather. These violent events that occur outside the direct action of the war demonstrate the evil inherent in
The short story “The Death of Dolgushov” by Isaak Babel is a gut wrenching story, at times literally, about the dilemmas of killing. Babel, a master of the short story, challenges readers’ morality by contrasting two soldiers plights. On the one hand, a soldier, Dolgushov, pleads that he has “had it (241),” meaning that he wants his comrade to kill him after being mortally wounded by machine gun fire; while on the other hand, another soldier, unnamed, cannot bring himself to kill Dolgushov. Throughout the story, war is depicted as a game until a soldier gets seriously hurt. This device, combined with the vivid imagery associated with both soldier’s plights, complicates how readers’ judge the act of killing and war in general.
Since the beginning of time, humans have sought after power and control. It is human instinct to desire to be the undisputed champion, but when does it become a problem? Warfare has been practiced throughout civilization as a way to justify power. Though the orders come directly from one man, thousands of men and women pay the ultimate sacrifice. In Randall Jerrell’s “The Death of a Ball Turret Gunner”, Jarrell is commenting on the brutality of warfare. Not only does Jarrell address the tragedies of war, he also blames politics, war leaders, and the soldier’s acknowledgement of his duties. (Hill 6) With only five lines of text, his poems allows the reader to understand what a soldier can go through. With the use of Jerrell’s poem, The Vietnam War, and Brian Turner’s “Ameriki Jundee”, the truth of combat will be revealed.
The collection of poems “Theater”, “Water”, and “Safe House” by Solmaz Sharif shows the varied viewpoints of how war affects the speakers and how death is all too common in the midst of warfare. The author uses a spectrum of literary techniques to enhance the experience of the reader, so we can fully grasp the severity of each speaker’s plight. All of Sharif’s poems differ in form with the use of white space and indentations in “Theater”, colons in “Water”, and a style of abecedarian using the letter S in “Safe House”. While her diverse use of forms generate different emotions from the reader, they share the same notion of how violence is problematic. Each poem has a unique outlook to the sight of war: “Theater” being in the position of a victim and an assailant of war, “Water” explaining a war mission and fatalities in terse terms, and “Safe House” as an observer of an activist against war. Sharif’s strategy to exemplify the effects of how war affects the victim and the civilian is particularly critical because mass media tends to hide the collateral damage of war and only illustrates why we should attack the “enemy”. Another approach the author uses to critique the speakers central conflicts is by arranging words from the US Department of Defense 's Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, to concur with the message of the several ways war influences the lives of those who are unwillingly encompassed by it. Sharif uses poetry as an outlet to show the underlying tone
Throughout human existence war has been a glorified way of settling disputes and asserting dominance, a place where powerful men have proven themselves, a place where glory and honor were achieved and a place where noble heroes died. Continuously through history humans looked past the horrors of war and misleadingly saw it as a glorious manner. This glorious view on war went unchallenged for centuries when finally the general William Tecumseh Sherman spoke out about the horrors of war and famously quoted that “war is hell”. In All Quiet On The Western Front William Tecumseh Sherman’s words can been seen in Remarque’s portrayal of the First World War by making display of the close similarities that war and hell have. Remarque exposes how truly horrendous the conditions at the front were displaying similarities between the conditions at war and to conditions described of hell. Remarque shows how the weapons used in the war turned man into ashes and countrysides into dead zones creating a real hell like environment. Lastly Remarque manifests that the horrors that war brought were so deep that the suffering would become eternal just as the suffering of hell. Therefore in the novel All Quiet On The Western Front Remarque brings life to William Tecumseh Sherman's famous quote “War is hell” by exposing how alike war and hell are by virtue of their similarities: How the conditions at the front were so horrendous they resembled conditions of hell; How new warfare technology turned
As long as there has been war, those involved have managed to get their story out. This can be a method of coping with choices made or a way to deal with atrocities that have been witnessed. It can also be a means of telling the story of war for those that may have a keen interest in it. Regardless of the reason, a few themes have been a reoccurrence throughout. In ‘A Long Way Gone,’ ‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’ and ‘Novel without a Name,’ three narrators take the readers through their memories of war and destruction ending in survival and revelation. The common revelation of these stories is one of regret. Each of these books begins with the main character as an innocent, patriotic soldier or civilian and ends in either the loss of innocence and regret of choices only to be compensated with as a dire warning to those that may read it. These books are in fact antiwar stories meant not to detest patriotism or pride for one’s country or way of life, but to detest the conditions that lead to one being so simpleminded to kill another for it. The firebombing of Dresden, the mass execution of innocent civilians in Sierra Leone and a generation of people lost to the gruesome and outlandish way of life of communism and Marxism should be enough to convince anyone. These stories serve as another perspective for the not-so-easily convinced.
The short story “War”, written by Jack London, describes the journey of the young, inexperienced soldier who is trying to stay alive during the war. One of the main themes of the story is the conflict between morality and pragmatism represented by two decisions by the young and the old men. The young man’s decision is definitely dictated by the moral part of the human mind. In short, when he sees the old man with the ginger-colored beard and has the chance to kill him, he does the opposite. According to pragmatic point of view, the decision to kill should be fairly easy, but morality of the young man overtakes his mind. Even though he knows that the old man can be his enemy, he sees him as a person who just wants to drink water. The old man