The Role Of War In 'Her Privates We'

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Her Privates We is a memoir, written by Frederick Manning about a soldier’s experience during World War One. It involved Bourne, a soldier who was on the western front during the Somme. Manning portrays Bourne in a way of a not so typical soldier. His memoir was also not a typical memoir. Thus, what view of the war did Manning hold and possibly project onto his main character, and what factors in society played a role in the release and reception of the memoir?
Private Bourne is the main character experiencing the realities of war. Bourne throughout the story tries not to dwell on the fact that he is in a dangerous place and is simply trying to get by. He did enlist as opposed to being drafted into the war, which would lead the audience …show more content…

Bourne is shown with vulnerabilities from the beginning of the memoir. While on the battlefield he is seen trying to reason with himself that he is not scared, and reverts back to a childhood game to calm himself down. He is shown having trouble sleeping because the memories of what he has seen come flooding back to him at night. Bourne also tears up when a fellow soldier recounts losing a friend in the war, not because he knew the man, but out of sympathy. This shows the audience that this man is a relatable character, who is not heartless, and not completely unaffected by the realities of warfare. Bourne is shown often to be the voice of reason to himself and his fellow troops in the midst of chaos and calm. He realizes that no matter how a man dies, he is still dead, yet depending on how he died, it can be really traumatic to those that witnessed it or found him. Sometimes this reasoning is unwanted but Bourne still expresses it. This can be seen when fellow soldiers are saying how unaware the officers are of how a battle works in war, and Bourne interjects that “[t]hey may have to order us to do something knowing damned well that they’re spending us. I don’t envy them.” Bourne understands that these higher officials have to

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