Generals Die in Bed Essay

733 WordsMar 24, 20153 Pages
Generals Die in Bed Charles Yale Harrison’s war novel, Generals Die in Bed, uses a very discrete kind of writing that assists the reader in understanding the sad, miserable and degrading reality of what life in the trenches was actually like. To the general public, troops in the trenches were perceived as heroic and glorious, however Harrison manages to sway the readers opinion by using deliberate writing techniques to help them see the truth. His short, powerful, but brief sentences about emotion, the repetition of certain events, the limited backstory on the characters and the songs he has the characters sing are all methods with which he is able to get the reader to see what life in the trenches was really like. The trenches were always filled with emotion, most of which was fear and sadness. Harrison showed that the emotions within the trenches could change in an instant. From elation to terror and from terror to relief. “I feel elated…. I am terrified.” Using short sentences such as these, Harrison is able to demonstrate the variety of emotions felt by the troops living in the trenches and to what extent these are felt as well as the events that led to these emotions. These sentences are short and sharp, but very effective at getting a very strong point across in a way that may seem very underwhelming. However when constantly repeated these sentences show how the trenches affected the men in them and how it wasn’t just constant battle and glory in war, but rather waiting for what seems like weeks for a chance to either be shot at or blown up. Throughout the entire story there are numerous significant events that happen, however there are a couple of events that were repeated to emphasize the effect they had on the characters. The repetition of the snipers demise, the pain of the lice and the fat rats really made the reader understand that it wasn’t the

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