My Final Words On War

871 Words Jun 2nd, 2016 4 Pages
My Final Words on War
At the beginning of Humanities Core in fall quarter, my understanding of war was primarily centered around soldiers and how killing others permanently scarred them, often leading to post-traumatic stress disorder. Being a Cognitive Sciences major, I am naturally interested in how extreme situations such as war affect people’s psychology. However, my focus drifted in an entirely new direction, towards civilians in wartime (See: Tags), as the year progressed and my view of war became more complex. Meryl Streep in a production of Mother Courage and Her Children (
Early in fall quarter, I became particularly interested in the distinction between history from above and history from below. Whereas I did not care much for history from above (e.g. Homer’s Iliad) because I am already so used to seeing these kind of violent, hyper-masculine portrayals of war in the media, I became very interested in history from below. Readings set from this perspective, such as Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children (1939), opened my eyes to the all-encompassing effects of war, which radiates beyond the structural ruins of war and soldiers who fought in it. Brecht’s play, set during the Thirty Years’ War, explores the effects of war on commoners; however, he denies the audience closure through Mother Courage’s lack of character development. As a result, the audience is able to critically analyze the aftermath of war without their judgment being…

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