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Divergent Perspectives in Strange Meeting Essay

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Divergent Perspectives in Strange Meeting



World War One can be regarded as on of the most futile events in history in which a whole generation was slaughtered; a generation with hope, a "possibility of life" and shining futures. Strange Meeting depicts the War situation and the soldiers' and politicians' attitudes towards war.



The question "who is the real enemy?" depicts the true evil nature of the politicians, as the German and British soldiers are the victims of the blood bath. The soldiers undergo exhausting and laborious work as well as being exposed to degrading and dehumanizing situations. The politicians however, are unaware of the soldiers'
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The soldiers come from all walks of life and therefore vary in their opinion towards war. John for example, "never forgot" about the horrors he had been exposed to even after going back to England which is depicted by "the green black water of nightmares." Therefore, he is constantly reminded and haunted by the harrowing images of the war. He calls it a "mess" and his only defence mechanism to protect himself against it is "detachment" as he says "that all of it has nothing to do with you." This contributes to his alienation as "everything around and within him was remote." His first encounter with death is seeing "forty bodies" on top of each other "like sandbags." Gradually, John realises that wishful thinking is useless and that "you cannot feel every man's death completely and all the time" as it would prevent him from functioning.



Barton on the other hand, is, at the beginning, very innocent as he keeps on asking John "where is the war" and "[didn't] think it would be such a pleasant life." he is "exhilarated"
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