Through “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” the soldiers standing, watching as everything goes on around them, are not able to stop what is happening. The soldiers represent the unforgiving nature of war.
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.
In everyday society cruelty is faced, weather yet another person is arrested for the killing of and innocent animal, or even the seemingly never ending brutality of the police forces going viral on YouTube yet again. Of course we have the do not touch subjects, such as war. The constant debate over is killing innocent people okay, just because it’s war. Jack London really brings this point alive in his short story “War”. In this thought-provoking piece of literature the odd uses of characterization, symbolism, morals, and irony lead a reader to an overall statement of theme that simply war is cruel.
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.
There is one scene where the three flag raisers entered a crowded stadium before a football game which typified how an image of war can be so different to the reality of war. The flash photography, the cheering, the roar of the crowd all went to John Bradley’s head and he had flash backs of the fighting on Iwo Jima and the genuine heroes that he had left behind. This scene contrasts what the reality of war, were all the men are dug in and fighting for there life, and the images of war. Ira Hayes says “I know it’s a good thing, raising the money and that, ‘cause we need it. But, I can’t take them calling me a hero. All I did was try not to get shot. Some of the things I saw done, things I did, they weren’t things to be proud of, you know?” Clint Eastwood shows continuously, through his characters physiology shows how one single photo can be so different what really makes up the battle of Iwo Jima. The aim was to get war bonds; the minds of the three main characters through Clint Eastwood’s directing showed a strong insight to how the reality of a war and an image of war can be so contrasting.
Against the idea of conquering the enemy, the soldiers are saying, “We have learned who our enemies are – the lice, some of our officers, and Death.” Against the idea of war’s comradeship, a scene in which soldiers fight each other like animals over a crust of bread is created.
The purpose of this essay is to compare the of Wendell Berry’s essay, “The Failure of War”, Dorianne Laux’s poem, Staff Sgt. Metz and Damon Winter’s photograph of Sgt. Brian Keith. All three of these pieces represent the controversial issue of War which is a topic for a argumentative piece. In two of the written pieces the writer acknowledges the opposition, however, the picture the opposition is implied. Each piece has a purpose aimed at an audience with an emotional appeal.
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.
War is a dangerous game, many people would likely agree to this, however, very few have ever seen a battlefront. The truth is that war, no matter how awful we can imagine it, is always exponentially worse. In Timothy Findley’s The Wars, Robert Ross, the protagonist, faces a situation that he finds difficult to come to terms with, and when faced with a similar situation later on in the novel, he must take drastic measures to reconcile the uncertainties of the past situation. Timothy Findley suggests, through the life of Robert Ross, that one’s need to reconcile the uncertainties of past experiences dominate our actions when such situations come up again in our lives. In the words of Hiram Johnson, a US Senator during the First World War,
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
In this essay, I will discuss how Tim O’Brien’s works “The Things They Carried” and “If I Die in a Combat Zone” reveal the individual human stories that are lost in war. In “The Things They Carried” O’Brien reveals the war stories of Alpha Company and shows how human each soldier is. In “If I Die in a Combat Zone” O’Brien tells his story with clarity, little of the dreamlike quality of “Things They Carried” is in this earlier work, which uses more blunt language that doesn’t hold back. In “If I Die” O’Brien reveals his own personal journey through war and what he experienced. O’Brien’s works prove a point that men, humans fight wars, not ideas. Phil Klay’s novel “Redeployment” is another novel that attempts to humanize soldiers in war. “Redeployment” is an anthology series, each chapter attempts to let us in the head of a new character – set in Afghanistan or in the United States – that is struggling with the current troubles of war. With the help of Phil Klay’s novel I will show how O’Brien’s works illustrate and highlight each story that make a war.
Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 film directed by Steven Spielberg dealing with the World War II Battle of Normandy. During its intense first twenty minutes, the film depicts the brutal, gruesome realities of what happened on June 6, 1944 on Omaha Beach. The historically accurate portrayal of the D-Day invasion by Allied Forces is the background for the fictional plot of a rescue mission for a single soldier, Private Ryan. The story of Ryan, his family, and his rescue is not true but it is symbolic of the heroism and terrible losses suffered in this crucial military campaign. Historian Steven Ambrose was a consultant on the film and views this kind of fiction as “the kind that illuminates truth rather than diminishing it.”
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.