War Can Change The Body And The Mind

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War can drastically alter the body and the mind. On page 18 of Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates describes the sensation of his possession of his own body being in a constant state of jeopardy. He notes that this was a feeling he experienced very early in life and that it comes from being at war. Though “being at war” can have many meanings, I believe some of the books we’ve read have displayed the idea in the simplest of ways. Sections of Betool Khedairi’s, Absent, and Joe Sacco’s, Journalism, have powerful examples of what war does to the body. These works also give us insight as to how people cope with the damage done. One of the first novels this class immersed me in was Absent by Betool Khedairi. This novel depicts the struggle of Dalal, a young Iraqi girl who’s living in Baghdad at the time of the U.N. sanctions on Iraq. I’d argue that Dalal’s body goes through radical change from the beginning of the novel to the end. The war that is waged on her identity as an Iraqi girl and a Baghdadi citizen affects her in a profound way. In the first few chapters, Dalal seems much more playful and less affected by the war around her. “The plant ascends laboriously from the mustard-colored pot sitting beside the sofa. It 's wilted leaves lift up their greenery lazily toward the fingers of sunlight that tickle playfully at the sides of a restless curtain” (2). Her description of this plant is riddled with humorous words and has a more lighthearted feel to it. However, this
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