Over the summer I read about a person who was a really good track star and served in World War II. Written by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken is a non-fiction World War II story about a young man named Louis Zamperini. The story takes place in the pacific islands and Japan during World War II Louis grew up as a restless and naughty boy, but then became a good and famous track star before getting drafted into the second world war. Louis faces the challenge of surviving on his own and enduring cruelty against Japanese leaders as a prisoner of war.
In Milkweed, by Jerry Spinelli the main conflict is person vs. person. Throughout the story, Misha has an external conflict with the jackboots. Misha never really understands the actual external conflict here: it is between himself and the Nazi party. Misha, being given a Jewish identity, is in trouble (despite how happy he is about his "birth"). Misha's life is always in jeopardy, even if he doesn't know this. Even at the beginning of the story the town is under attack (and Uri saves Misha). Later, Misha elects to move into the Warsaw ghetto with Janina's family, again, not knowing that the Nazis are his real enemy.
In November of 1955, the United States entered arguably one of the most horrific and violent wars in history. The Vietnam War is documented as having claimed about 58,000 American lives and more than 3 million Vietnamese lives. Soldiers and innocent civilians alike were brutally slain and tortured. The atrocities of such a war are near incomprehensible to those who didn’t experience it firsthand. For this reason, Tim O’Brien, Vietnam War veteran, tries to bring to light the true horrors of war in his fiction novel The Things They Carried. The novel focuses on coping with the death and horror of war. It also speaks volumes about the true nature of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the never-ending struggle of dealing with it. In the
“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity” (Dwight D. Eisenhower). Throughout all of history war has surrounded human existence. From the Spartans in Rome to Infantry Marines patrolling the streets in Afghanistan, the presence of war has affected generations since the beginning of time. In the book, Fallen Angels, the author, Walter Dean Myers portrays how the harsh realities of war have a substantial impact on soldiers and their experiences by displaying the internal transformations, the power of fear, the permanent psychological damages, and the cruelty of the environment through a classic Vietnam War story.
Milkweed was wrote by Jerry Spinelli. This is a story of an orphan in 1930s Poland who is very naïve and knows nothing. Not who he is, who other people are, nothing of the world around him. He knows only that he is small and fast and able to snatch food right from under the noses of the people it belongs to. He is eventually taken in by a gang of orphan kids, and becomes the special ward of one in particular, Uri.
Combat, loyalty, enmity, bloodshed, and duty, all words that fit under the category of war. The novel Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is about Louis Zamperini a strong willed man raised in Torrance, California. He started as a young troublemaker until he discovered his passion for running in high school. That very passion led him to compete in the Olympics. Later he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, a brave decision that would change his life. War and its affinities have various emotional effects on different individuals, whether facing adversity within the war or when experiencing the psychological aftermath.
War is a harsh reality that is inflicted upon the unwilling through the “need” of it’s predecessors and those whom wish it. All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque is about 19 year old Paul and his friends in the “Second Company”. Even though they are just out of school age, they have already seen things that many could not bear to even think about. Eventually, all of his friends die, and even Paul too, dies. Remarque uses diction and syntax as literary devices to express his anti-war theme, or lesson.
All Quiet on the Western Front is widely considered to be the greatest war novel of all time for a variety of reasons, but perhaps one of the greatest is that raw and honest depiction of the psychological defense mechanisms soldiers used to deal with wartime trauma. From shameless humor and the blockage of emotions to playing games and scavenging for food, Paul and his company were often close to blocking out the savagery of war around them. Through a variety of different activities, soldiers in All Quiet on the Western Front could come close to completely blocking out the war around them, but were unable to truly escape the horrid world they lived in.
Readers, especially those reading historical fiction, always crave to find believable stories and realistic characters. Tim O’Brien gives them this in “The Things They Carried.” Like war, people and their stories are often complex. This novel is a collection stories that include these complex characters and their in depth stories, both of which are essential when telling stories of the Vietnam War. Using techniques common to postmodern writers, literary techniques, and a collection of emotional truths, O’Brien helps readers understand a wide perspective from the war, which ultimately makes the fictional stories he tells more believable.
Brutality and images of war are abundant in this book, giving the story a feeling of reality. From the first few pages, it reveals that Second Company has made it out of a battle, losing close to half their men. Soon after, we see a detailed description of Kemmerich’s death, a fellow soldier injured and amputated before the beginning of the story. The way his fellow soldiers reacted, not with apathy yet not with unbridled misery, immediately sets the tone for the book. Other scenes throughout the
War, something that sounds so cliché yet endeavours a greater meaning; a meaning of finding your true self within yourself, and seeing your natural, brave or mediocre side. The concept of bravery and heroic men is often the label associated with war; however, in Timothy Findley’s The Wars, it is in fact the exact opposite. The Wars is an anachronistic example of what one goes through both physically and mentally. Findley accurately portrays the protagonist, Robert Ross, as a naïve nineteen year old who wishes to escape his excruciating feelings of reality for being held accountable for Rowena’s death by enlisting into war, as well as to adhere to societal norms. Robert is an incompetent young boy that achieves most of his knowledge of war from
In human history, war has greatly affected the lives of people in an extremely detrimental way which can be understood in Timothy Findley’s novel The Wars through a psychoanalytic approach in character development and their deterioration; the readers are able to identify the loss of innocence intertwined between characters, the search for self-identity in the symbolic and metaphorical aspect, as well as the essence of life. Those that are not able to overcome these mental challenges may develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Rape trauma Syndrome, and sadly, some resort to suicide as the last option to escape their insecurities. However, soldiers are not the only ones affected by war; family members also face
In Sherman Alexie’s short story, “War Dances,” the narrator unravels in thoughts and takes us through events in his life. He picks up by speaking about a cockroach that ends up dying in his Kafka baggage from a trip to Los Angeles. The cockroach still appears many times throughout the story. The narrator spends quality time in the hospital with his father, who is recovering from surgery due to diabetes and alcoholism, all along the way while he, himself, discovers he might have a brain tumor, leading his right ear to talk about his father. Using a style of tragedy and care both incorporate together a symbolic story that would make even a plain reader feel touched, leading to the major occurrence of a theme of the importance of family.
The war novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque depicts one protagonist, Paul, as he undergoes a psychological transformation. Paul plays a role as a soldier fighting in World War I. His experiences during the war are not episodes the average person would simply experience. Alternatively, his experiences allow him to develop into a more sophisticated individual. Remarque illustrates these metamorphic experiences to expose his theme of the loss of not only people’s lives but also innocence and tranquility that occurs in war.
America’s war heroes all have the same stories to tell but different tales. Prescribed with the same coloring page to fill in, and use their methods and colors to bring the image to life. This is the writing style and tactic used by Tim O’Brien in his novel, “The Things They Carried”. Steven Kaplan’s short story criticism, The Undying Certainty of the Narrator in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, provides the audience with an understanding of O’Brien’s techniques used to share “true war” stories of the Vietnam War. Kaplan explains the multitude of stories shared in each of the individual characters, narration and concepts derived from their personal experiences while serving active combat duty during the Vietnam War,