Johnny Got His Gun Relationship Essay

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Francis Ford Coppola's incendiary masterpiece, "The Godfather," chronicles a patriarch's fall from power and his son's subsequent son's rise to that very power, asserting that every relationship between a father and his son must evolve at one point or another. Similarly, Dalton Trumbo, in his novel, Johnny Got A Gun, characterizes the central patriarchal relationship as full of understanding and evolving, through carefully selected details and a neutral yet oftentimes intimate point-of-view, to convey the bittersweet passing of an era in the relationship between every boy and his father. Popular culture closely associates patriarchy and fatherhood with exaggerated masculinity; one need not look any farther than the archetypal stoic father who teaches his son about things like football and fishing, yet never engages him on an emotional level. Trumbo, however, strays from archetype by portraying a relationship with a surprisingly complex emotional core. At the center of this emotional core stand the ideals of understanding and comfort, symbolized in the story by the carefully selected details that Trumbo gives the audience about the protagonists’ surroundings; the author brings to our attention the fact that this place that these come to annually “was nine thousand feet high and covered with pine trees and dotted with lakes,” instead creating a sense of echoing desolation in our mind (Trumbo). He follows this up with a description of nighttime at the campsite, wherein “the roar of water which connected the lakes sounded in their ears all night long,” which combined with the aforementioned detail, imbues the reader with the feeling that this boy and his father retain a deep sense of comfort around each other. On top of this, when the father offers up his fishing rod to Bill Harper, the boy remembers how it “had amber leaders and beautiful silk linings” and how “there

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