Although most war novels are filled with patriotism and honor, Remarque’s instead focuses on the brutality and senselessness of war. The main character, Paul Baumer, serves in the German Army during WWI. The novel shows his struggles throughout the war and it seems that Baumer resembles Remarque and his own struggles of war. In the novel, Baumer and his comrades endure a full scale war. The novel shoes the misery of war and the everlasting effects it has on the soldiers; even Baumer cannot escape those circumstances.
The emotion a soldier experiences cannot be understood by anyone except those in war. This emotion is unique to each individual, as we all have different outlooks on life, death and war. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross’s experience of the death of Lavender undoubtedly illustrates the effect war eventually makes on a soldier. Due to his mistake, Cross “felt shame. He hated himself.
Steinbeck wants the reader to understand the harsh and difficult living conditions the soldiers are living in. Also, Steinbeck wants the reader to feel the emotion and physical pain the soldiers are feeling, “Under extended bombardment…the eardrums are tortured by the blast…your skin feels thick and insensitive. There’s a salty taste in your mouth. A hard, painful knot is in your stomach with undigested food…This is how you feel just after a few days of constant firing.” Steinbeck’s writes such a strong description that the reader can fully understand and even feel the pain the soldiers feel. The essay “Why Soldiers Won’t Talk,” is marked by a clear narrative description of what war is truly like and gives the reader a strong sense of perspective.
On top of their horrible conditions, there was food, clothing, supplies, and weapon shortage. This novel truly describes how soldiers die and in what true conditions they are when in war. This book made you want to hate Germany because these young boys were in a hell hole and all authority ignored them. Even though this book was published before all Nazi violence broke out against Jews, it still seemed like a threat. The world looked at Germany as a very powerful country especially when it came to war, and this book screamed the opposite.
His love for her was also a huge distraction from what truly was important. Lieutenant Cross shows shame and fear. His love for Martha distracted him so much that Ted Lavender, a soldier in his platoon, died under his watch. O’Brien states, “He felt shame. He hated himself.
War conveys the unleashed monster within a soldier and the kidnapping of a physically-healthy survivor’s mental aspect. The traumas of battle encourage feelings of indignation and antagonism in a soldier and the generals’ orders denies a corporal’s humble character. The sight of a fellow countryman riddled with bullets in his chest instigates sentiments of resentment and rage in a soldier’s mind, rendering them to retaliate with vehemence. Life in the trenches is completely opposite to normal life back at home and the disconnection from family and friends only keep soldiers persisting. During a soldier’s time at war, they develop many relationships in the trenches and on the frontline, many of them go as quickly as they came, however, some are evolve into close relationships.
The effects of Shell-Shock Shell-Shock is one of the most recognized psychological conditions stemming from WWI. Being caught near an explosive shell can leave a person blinded, deaf, dumb, semi-paralysed, in a state of stupor, and very often suffering from amnesia. Just as bad as being struck by shells was the effect on those who found themselves waiting to be hit by one. Soldiers became obsessive when they saw their friends and fellows dragged out of the trenches screaming, worried they were next. “A lot of men who tell you they were buried by a shell are not telling the truth at all.
They are too vulnerable to cope with the environment, and (are) forced to get involved. Megan Stack’s “every man in this village is a liar” crystallizes (the) idea that individuals often find themselves engulfed in conflicts whether they like it or not. Like the little Palestinian boy in the war, seeing his family all dying in front off him. “You could stare into the enormous eyes of little boys and watch them turning into rock.” This little boy cannot choose not to react (stay detached in) to the tragic conflict situation. He suffers as a powerless/defenseless victim in the conflict among nations as “one war breeds another war”.
Throughout Birdsong, Destruction of man is a constant theme conveyed by Faulks. In part two, Stephen is showed as distant to his to his men, lacking the ability to comfort his men, specifically when Weir refers to Stephen as a “cold bastard” as Stephen is not capable of comforting him. This is completely contradicted in part four, as Stephen expresses that “the grimmer, harder, more sardonic they became, the more he cared for them.” As they have fought together and killed together, the bond between the soldiers is forever growing. Negative diction is used to enforce the terrors of the war and enforced with the ‘rule of three’ showing the forever degrading effects to the soldiers on the front line. The destruction of man is also shown in a more psychological way.
The depiction in society in both stories reveals J.D. Salinger’s distaste for twentieth-century morals as seen in the effects of war, the corruption of society and the loss of innocence in children. In both stories the two protagonists, Seymour and Sergeant X, were deeply effected by the war for they experienced mental breakdowns that led to being dysfunctional in their society after returning. In “Bananafish,” Seymour is recently released from a war hospital where he was admitted for P.T.S.D., and while his wife Muriel assures her mother that Seymour is doing fine, there are obvious signs of psychological damage from the war such his with incident driving into the trees and thinking he has a tattoo. Sergeant X also experiences P.T.S.D.