Johnny Got His Gun Essay

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The Enlightening “They died with only one thought in their minds and that was I want to live I want to live I want to live.” In the 1939 book “Johnny Got His Gun” by Dalton Trumbo, the main character Joe Bonham was drafted into World War 1. During the war Joe’s trench, along with almost everything inside, was terminated. Joe suffered the tragic loss of both legs, arms and all five of his senses from the shell. Joe understands first hand that in the moment of death the single thought racing through his broken and destroyed body is “I want to live”. Throughout this award winning book, Trumbo through Joe teaches many lessons. Lessons can be taught about simple tasks o heartbreaking realities, and unfortunately Joe’s “lessons well learned” are…show more content…
Joe, devastated by his paralyzing injuries, has come to the conclusion that mankind is cruel. Mankind has caused him to fall into this coffin where he has it worse off than the slaves and prisoners; “He thought of them and he thought they were luckier than I am they could move they could see each other they were more nearly living than I and the were not imprisoned as securely” (page 182). Joe talks extensively about the treatment of slaves, prisoners, Jesus, and any man that is brings guilt to the reader's mind. Joe finds a reason in each story that he is worse off than they; whether it be they can die or as simple as they can hear. Joe finds them to be luckier than he is because all of the individuals he names can see, hear, walk and die; Joe has no choice except to sit and rot. Not only does Joe show the cruelty through the stories of brutal and inhumane treatment of people in the past but he also shows the cruelty in his own treatment after he breaks through the silent barrier of communication. Joe has just broken the barrier with his tapping of morse code, the nurse and the individual who knows morse code understand what he is trying to do. The unknown individual and Joe have a very simple conversation which ends with the crushing of all Joe’s hopes for a real life, “What you ask is against regulations who are you” (page 235). Joe at this point has given

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