Generals Die In Bed Analysis

1102 Words5 Pages
The novella Generals Die in Bed was written by Charles Yale Harrison who was born in Philadelphia and raised in Montreal. Harrison fought in World War 1 with the Canadian army and later became a writer in New York City. Generals Die in Bed is a fictional novella based on Harrison’s personal experience with the army that mostly takes place in France from the early part of the war until 1918. The story follows a private throughout his time on active duty that offers a brutally honest depiction of the war trenches during World War 1. As the novella progresses, we gradually see the narrator’s growing hatred for war. By being chronological, the novella effectively illustrates the events as if they are happening in real time, the impact these events…show more content…
The novella blatantly criticized the general public for romanticizing the war. When the narrator is on leave and goes to the performance in London, he is uncomfortable with the heroic way in which war is portrayed. The narrator thinks that “people should not be sitting laughing at jokes about plum and apple jam when boys are out dying in France.”. These people who sleep comfortably at night well fed, warm, and clean do not have the right to find comedy in war. Afterwards, when Gladys questions why the narrator would want to visit a place notorious for criminals instead of enjoying the attractions that London has to offer, he replies that he is a criminal since he has murdered someone. Gladys is brainwashed by propaganda and so believes that killing an enemy soldier in combat is not really murder and that the narrator is a “silly boy” for thinking so. Since the narrator had been harshly emotionally affected by his murder of the German soldier, it would have irritated him that Gladys so easily dismissed it. Furthermore, Generals Die in Bed manages to convey that the feeble benefits of war do not outweigh the immense suffering of the soldiers. The soldiers try to calculate the amount of money that the war is costing and are only able to conclude that it is a lot of money. The soldiers are upset that people are profiting off of their anguish . Moreover, by keeping the narrator unnamed, Harrison allows readers to visualize themselves in the story which has a far more impactful effect on the reader. Harrison effectively conveys his argument because of the honesty of his descriptions which he was able to deliver due to his personal
Open Document