Review Of William E Dyess The Bataan Death March

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The “Bataan Death March” is the first hand account of the treatment of American prisoners of war by the Japanese in 1942. This account is brutal in various ways, in the use of imagery, use of language and view expressed. However, all of this allows for historians to better examine the feelings and ideas of soldiers on both sides of the conflict in the pacific theater. William E. Dyess is the author of this account. Who was he, and what exactly can we learn from him? Dyess was the commander of the United States Army Air Corps, 21st pursuit squadron stationed in the philippines during World War II. His squad was captured in April of 1942 after the battle of Bataan by japanese soldiers, who forced his men and other prisoners of war to march through …show more content…

First of which has to be the possibility of Dyess’ bias towards the japanese. Which is evident from his frequent use of a well known derogatory term for a person of japanese ancestry. In addition, his loathing of the soldiers who were in charge, saying, “Now, as never before, I wanted to kill [Japanese] for the pleasure of it”While the use of the term and his eagerness to get revenge could stem from the atmosphere of the war or from how American troops simply referred to their foes. By categorizing them together and expressing his hatred, Dyess is portraying the japanese soldiers as inhuman or uncivilized. This may also rationalize the actions of the japanese soldiers for …show more content…

Dyess survived the death march and the treatment in order to escape to freedom alongside fellow american soldiers. Thus it is understandable that Dyess would have the feelings after what he apparently went through. Thus this record may be a debrief or memoire of what occurred during his imprisonment. Thus there is an audience for this account and Dyess is aware of the audience. Thus he has a goal for retelling his time. In the likeliest case, Dyess is attempting to convince those who are reading this account of the unnatural cruelty that the Japanese

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