Ernst Junger And Robert Graves

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Ernst Jünger of Germany and Robert Graves of England, both men born in the higher class, fought for their respective nations in World War One. Their motives, responses to war and the terrors that accompany it, and their experiences while serving unrelated to trench warfare are all recorded in their autobiographies. Similarities exist between their understandings of trench warfare, especially in their contacts with “the enemy froces;” however, the differences are apparent. How each man viewed his status among his peers, his relationship with the men he leads, and his place in society is told in the anecdotes within each account of war. Each man writes more than just an account of the battles he fought in during World War One; each narrative is his account of the relationships he involves himself in, with men he grew up with, with men he led, with the people of the occupied France, and with the men he fought to kill. Robert Graves describes the apprehension he feels concerning becoming a gentleman through the lessons he learned as a child. That “two sorts of Christians existed – ourselves, and the lower class” was a shock described as his first “shudder of gentility;” (Graves, p. 14), one which Graves never learned to understand. Nowhere in Good-Bye to All That does Graves admit to accepting the facts of the society in which he grew up. Motivated by his disgust of “class hierarchy” and “meaningless privileges,” (as described by Paul Fussell in the introduction) (Fussell, p. v), Graves wanted to escape, at least as long as the war would last. “…I decided to enlist…I hoped that it might last long enough to delay my going to Oxford in October, which I dreaded.” (Graves, p. 67). His decision to enlist in the British army as an officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers was as much fueled by patriotism and a support of the British position as it was by this desire to
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