PTSD In Soldier's Heart

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Soldier’s Heart is a book about Charley Goddard, and how he develops Soldier’s Heart. Soldier’s Heart is what people who are afflicted with PTSD are said to have during the Civil War. Throughout the story, Charley gradually changes due to the battles during the war, until, in the end he has Soldier’s Heart.

In the beginning Charley hears all about how the “The only shooting war to come in a man’s life, and if a man didn’t step right along he’d miss the whole thing.” (pg.2) Charley did not want to miss it. The only problem he runs into is that he’s too young to join, but he is tall, with big hands, and so he lies about his age and joins up with the army. His mother tries to convince him to stay, but she relents. This is because she thinks, along with a lot of other people,
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The constant drilling and boredom gnaws at him, and the rest of the soldiers are ready for a battle. They take a train ride near to the location of their first battle, and while on the train, Charley notices that the majority of the South’s people are very poor. Then the first battle happened. It is a slaughter, Charley watches as men he’s known for months die before his eyes, and he can’t help but run from the battlefield when called to retreat. This is the Battle of Bull Run. Then came the second battle. This time Charley feels fear, but does not react to it. This is also where we see Charley’s first major change. Charley starts to charge blindly when his unit is ordered to, and he does not stop until a sergeant trips him to keep him from running to his death. “Kill them all. Before they could kill him.” (pg. 51). Charley then finds out that Nelson, a soldier he had spoken with, was shot in the stomach. Nelson requests that Charley load Nelson’s rifle, and to take off his boot. Nelson then kills himself as Charley walks away. This shows that Charley has changed significantly in his focus, but not enough to stop him from helping his
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