Under Fire By Henri Barbusse

Decent Essays
The narrator, of Under Fire, is Henri Barbusse, the author, who is recalling events from the day in his person diary. He is a French poet and journalist, who volunteered for the French army when the war started in 1914, at the age of 41 ( Staff). The reading is an excerpt from Barbusse’s novel Le Feu (Under Fire), which is written during his time in the war; but, was published in 1915 ( Staff). Therefore, it is a contemporary text because it was written at the time of the event in the author’s diary.
The excerpt is from chapter twenty, when Barbusse and his comrades are on the Western Front during WWI. It is early morning when the author is called to take his duties as a watch man. He recalls the sounds he heard and what he saw at 2 am. He describes the setting using his senses. He is looking out “along the top of the ravine” and says the “land slopes downward in front of me, plunging into an abyss of darkness” as he hears “rifle-shots crackle” (Barbusse, 1915). He explains how the air has a “bitter breeze” that makes him shiver as he looks out to see the moon hidden by the mist of the night. His first-hand experience on the Western front, gives us insight to what the war field looked like. He explains the trench warfare as an “entanglement” of wires with “sandbags” along the shore, and the “dismantled stones of ancient ruined buildings” (Barbusse, 1915). In his explanation we understand he is located along the ocean shore, in
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He was praised for his literary testimony, but also criticized for having too much “slang and literary fantasy” (Campa, 2014). Barbusse founded the movement called “Clarté” in 1919; which “disapproved of the use of violence and fought for an idealistic pacifism” (Campa, 2014). He went on to be a prolific writer. It could be said that the war helped him find his passion, for what to write
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