Nineteenth century poet Walt Whitman lived and wrote in a fascinating time period and changed the literary world, all while experiencing a unique American war first hand. A humanitarian as well as a writer, Whitman volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War where he experienced the horrors of mortality, yet felt spiritually content afterwards as well. His frequent interactions with the wounded and sick would further alter his poetry and life, in a way where he would be able to cope with his time spent among the battle. Traumatized by the aftermath of the brutal war, Whitman used his writing as a reflection of his mind and life as his involvement in both the depravity and nobility of human existence absorbed into every aspect of his spirit.
Walt Whitman is one of nine children, he grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and Long Island and was faced with many different aspects of society. Growing up he had a great fascination of the atmosphere of Brooklyn which led him to journalism at the age of twenty. In 1855 Walt Whitman self-published a collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass which was expanded and revised through many editions until the ninth “deathbed” edition which was published in 1892. His brother was wounded in Fredericksburg Virginia, shortly after Walt Whitman traveled to see him. Once he saw the aftermath he was compelled to work as a nurse in Washington, D.C. as a volunteer nurse, in this time he wrote many more poems. On March 26,1892 he passed away from pleurisy, his funeral drew thousands and his casket could not even be seen do to the amount of wreaths on it.
This metaphor displays his uncertainty as per his crucial part in that moment in time. The soldier pictures himself as the hand on a clock, subject to the inevitable force of a clockwork motor that cannot be slowed or quickend. He realises that he does not really know why he is running and feels “statuary in mid-stride”. However, towards the end of the poem, all moral justifications for the existence of war have become meaningless- “King, honour, human dignity, etcetera Dropped like luxuries in a yelling alarm”, which is extremely dismissive of all the motives people provide for joining the army, explicitly stating that those motives do not justify and do not withstand the war. Disorientation is also highlighted in the line “Stumbling across a field of clods towards a green hedge That dazzled with rifle fire” where the confusion between the natural world and man-made world is expressed.
The poem aims to glorify soldiers and certain aspects of war, it goes on to prove that in reality there really isn 't good vs bad on the battlefield, it 's just a man who "sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call, And only death can stop him now—he 's fighting for them all.", and this is our hidden meaning.
Trauma is a many layered thing. There are many ways to cope with it, and many ways people can experience it. In war there is obviously a lot of suffering, and many ways to deal with the aftermath of being in war. In “How to Tell a True War Story” by Tim O’Brien, the narrator repeats the story of the death of one of his comrades several times within it, changing the details with each telling. This story is less about how to tell a war story, and more about how to cope with life after facing war and how to cope with death in war.
How do you think war impacts soldiers? I believe that there are two different effects war can have on a soldier, a psychological and a physical one. One disorder involved with war is Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, in All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Bäumer, the narrator, tells of his experiences in World War I and the term associated with soldiers who have been corrupted by the war is “shell-shocked”. In my essay I will talk about the impact war has had on Paul, and how it 's affecting soldiers today.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in The Things They Carried During the turbulent times of the Vietnam War, thousands of young men entered the warzone and came face-to-face with unimaginable scenes of death, destruction, and turmoil. While some perished in the dense Asian jungles, others returned to American soil and were forced to confront their lingering combat trauma. Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried provides distinct instances of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and reveals the psychological trauma felt by soldiers in the Vietnam War. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD for short, is the most common mental illness affecting soldiers both on and off the battlefield.
The poem features a soldier, presumably Owen, speaking to fellow soldiers and the public regarding those atrocities. Correspondingly, drawing on the themes of innocent death and the barbaric practices of warfare, Owen expresses his remorse towards his fallen comrades and an antagonistic attitude towards the war effort through a solemn tone and specific stylistic devices. The poem is structured as free verse, contributing towards the disorganized and chaotic impression Owen experienced while witnessing these deaths firsthand, enabling the audience to understand the emotional circumstances of demise in the trenches as well. Throughout the poem, Owen routinely personifies the destructive weapons of war, characterizing them as the true instruments of death rather than the soldiers who stand behind them. Owen describes how, “Bullets chirped…Machine-guns chuckled…Gas hissed…”
This chapter “The Ghost Soldiers”, showed us how Tim O’Brien and the other soldiers were dealing with the war both physically and psychologically. It also shows us how the Tim O'Brien behaved and felt when he was shot, wounded and had a bacteria infection on his butt and how the war changed the way he thought, and viewed the other soldiers around him. This chapter also contain a lot of psychological lens. From the way Tim O’Brien felt when he was shot and separated from his unit to a new unit to when he wanted revenge on Bobby Jorgenson for almost “killing” him.
Accompanying these weapons was the first emphasis on war trauma-related mental illness, with soldiers returning from battle with PTSD, misnomered and misunderstood as ‘shell-shock’. Rates of PTSD climbed steadily after World War II and the Vietnam War as weaponry became more and more advanced, reaching 12% of soldiers who saw direct combat in the Gulf War being diagnosed with PTSD afterwards (cite). Clearly, there is a strong connection between advanced weaponry and mental illness in soldiers, proving that violent weaponry negatively affects those who are forced to encounter
The True Weight of War “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, brings to light the psychological impact of what soldiers go through during times of war. We learn that the effects of traumatic events weigh heavier on the minds of men than all of the provisions and equipment they shouldered. Wartime truly tests the human body and and mind, to the point where some men return home completely destroyed. Some soldiers have been driven to the point of mentally altering reality in order to survive day to day. An indefinite number of men became numb to the deaths of their comrades, and yet secretly desired to die and bring a conclusion to their misery.
The Vietnam War was the first war in American history during which medical researchers detected traces of post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. Today, there are countless American soldiers who suffer from trauma associated with their experiences in war. One approach that the human mind takes to counter painful memories is to repress their experiences. Soldiers will subdue real life occurrences that trigger these memories, which is the purpose for all the shifts and gaps in Going After Cacciato.
At Fredericksburg and Petersburg, Inman witnesses casualties, inflicts wounds, and receives injuries. Not only was close combat immensely painful, but one could distinguish the characteristics of the enemy. Men fought with, and against, young boys. Emotions brew, but since it was unmasculine to display those of weakness, some men struggle with inner thoughts provoked by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Psychological Warfare in The Things They Carried Unless you have been in war or have read The Things They Carried, you can't fully understand the psychological toll on a person's mind and body, you can't understand the psychological hardship soldiers go through in war. However, The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, is written to where it shows the overall psychological effects of war on soldiers in and out of Vietnam; as shown throughout the story, the recurring themes of trauma, love, and guilt give the clear psychological implications of war.
Sights you see, events you take part in, people you kill never really seem to leave your conscious and sometimes haunt you. This eats away at the sanity of many soldiers who’ve seen the face of the the fight. Joseph Robertson, a WWII veteran, clearly recalls a time from the war when he killed a young german boy. He described the boy he killed as a “blonde, blue eyes, fair skin, so handsome he was like a little angel(German in the Woods). Joseph, at the age of eighty six, still would wake up during the night crying over the german boy he killed and claimed that specific memory the saddest in his lifetime.