Generals Die in Bed by Charles Yale Harrison is told by a twenty-year-old anonymous narrator, who reminds us that the war is neither a glamorous nor glorious affair. It’s a graphic and poignant story of a young man sent to fight on the Western Front to fight against the German army. The experience of warfare in trenches takes on distinct animation as readers identify with the predicament of the youthful soldiers. It’s written in a blunt documentary style. With its raw and powerful prose, the insanity and destructive brutality of war is shown so realistically that reader start to question the meaning of truth, heroism, God and Devil.
The story “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien is an enormously detailed fictional account of a wartime scenario in which jimmy Cross (the story’s main character) grows as a person, and the emotional and physical baggage of wartime are brought to light. The most obvious and prominent feature of O’Brien’s writing is a repetition of detail. O’brien also passively analyzes the effects of wartime on the underdeveloped psyche by giving the reader close up insight into common tribulations of war, but not in a necessarily expositorial sense.. He takes us into the minds of mere kids as they cope with the unbelievable and under-talked-about effects or rationalizing
The items the soldiers carry hold a substantial amount of credibility throughout each personal story; however, within O’Brien’s story, he lacks credibility aside from the obvious tangible elements of the items held, questioning where the truth lies within these evidential fragments of the soldiers’ lives. These personal accounts of exact measurements attest the reader’s knowledge of war as well as the mental ability to calculate the exact weight upon each person’s hump through a fiction of mental and emotional agility. O’Brien quotes within Chen’s criticism stating, “A true war story, if truly told, makes the stomach believe” (Chen 77). This background knowledge of O’Brien’s theory that an “absolute occurrence is irrelevant because a true war story does not depend upon that kind of truth,”(Chen 77) places the credibility of the information upon the emotional accounts that O’Brien’s writing bestows upon the personalities of the soldiers. The “academic tone that at times makes the narrative sound like a government report (Kaplan 45),” adds documentation like analysis of these compilations of war endeavors as told by the narrator. Kaplan continues that the “transitional phrases such as “for instance” and “in addition,”’ (Kaplan 45) as well as “whole paragraphs dominated by sentences that begin with “because,”” (Kaplan 45) convince certainty of the
Generals Die in Bed certainly demonstrates that war is futile and the soldiers suffer both emotionally and physically. Charles Yale Harrison presents a distressing account of the soldiers fighting in the Western front, constantly suffering and eventually abandoning hope for an end to the horrors that they experience daily. The ‘boys’ who went to war became ‘sunk in misery’. We view the war from the perspective of a young soldier who remains nameless. The narrator’s experience displays the futility and horror of war and the despair the soldiers suffered. There is no glory in
In Soldier’s Home, Ernest Hemingway depicts Harold Krebs return home from World War I and the problems he faces when dealing with his homecoming and transition back towards a normal life. After the fighting overseas commenced, it took Krebs a year to finally leave Europe and return to his family in Oklahoma. Once home, he found it hard to talk about all he had seen in his tour of duty overseas, which should be attributed to the fact that he saw action in some of the bloodiest, most crucial battles towards the culmination of the war. Therefore, Krebs difficulty in acknowledging his past is because he was indeed a “good soldier” (139), whose efforts in order to survive “The Great War,” were not
In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “A Soldier’s Home”, Krebs, a soldier, returns to his hometown from fighting in World War I. As indicated throughout the story, “home” for Krebs is not unlike the war front: confusing, complicated, and restless. Hemingway uses the setting in Kansas, during World War I, to convey Krebs post-war life in comparison to his pre-war.
The text, The Things They Carried', is an excellent example which reveals how individuals are changed for the worse through their first hand experience of war. Following the lives of the men both during and after the war in a series of short stories, the impact of the war is accurately portrayed, and provides a rare insight into the guilt stricken minds of soldiers. The Things They Carried' shows the impact of the war in its many forms: the suicide of an ex-soldier upon his return home; the lessening sanity of a medic as the constant death surrounds him; the trauma and guilt of all the soldiers after seeing their friends die, and feeling as if they could have saved them; and the deaths of the soldiers, the most negative impact a war
He includes stories of the King’s men, their commander, and their contempt for the rebel foes. McCullough researched diaries and letters from both sides of the front to obtain particular details used in his text. Thus creating notes down to the details of even the common soldier, bystander, and camp followers.
David Kennedy’s Over Here: The First World War and American Society gives the reader an in depth description of American history during Americas involvement in World War I. The book covers from President Wilson’s war message to Congress on April 2, 1917 to the Armistice on November 11, 1918 pointing out major dilemmas within the country, whether they are political, social, or cultural. Kennedy starts the book out with a prologue that sets the scene. After the prologue, Kennedy jumps into explaining the war and the thoughts of the American people about the war that was carried into the battlefield. During this time, Wilson had just won his re-election of 1916, which was won by promising to keep America out of the war. So it was not hard to
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.
In Soldier's Home, Ernest Hemingway paints a vivid picture of Harold Krebs return home from World War I and the issues he confronts while trying to shift his way back towards the ordinary life he once lived. After his battling over seas took place, it took Krebs over a year to finally leave Europe and make his way back home to his family in Oklahoma. After finally finding the drive to come home, Krebs found that it was difficult to express his feelings towards all he had seen during his tour of duty, which must be attributed to the fact that he was in the heart of some of the bloodiest and most crucial battles mankind has ever seen. Therefore, Krebs difficulty in acknowledging his past is because he was indeed a “good soldier” (133), whose
World War I (1914-1918) was a war that changed world history forever. The technological, industrial, social and political advances that took place at beginning of the 20th century paved the way for today 's world. And the parties involved in World War I used those advances to create one of the first modern wars. For those reasons World War I is referred to as many things including, an industrial war, a war of attrition, and as a total war. These aspects is what makes the war so revolutionary and groundbreaking and equally as devastating. A novel that helps illustrate each of these categories is All Quiet on the Western Front (1928), by Erich Maria Remarque. The author tells a German soldiers experiences through the war. The book does not