World War II (WWII) is a very common topic discussed in high school english classes mainly due to the facts that WWII is a perfect example of good vs. evil in the real world and there is an endless amount of books written about this tragic era in history. Two examples of these type of books are Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken and Elie Wiesel’s Night; and like all of the other WWII books, these two address themes about the hardships of war and how hope is always present. One specific theme that these books support is that in war, there will always be peace; this is shown through elements of faith, happiness, and trauma. To begin, the two main characters of the books Unbroken and Night face a struggle with their individual faiths, but in very different ways. Louis (Louie) Zamperini initially was not the most religious man but when faced with the most dire of situations he turned to God repeatedly for help and counsel.
War was much different than Charley Goddard had expected. He did not expect to see people die right before his eyes. He did not expect to wash his face with bloody water. Charley Goddard faced many brutal surprises during war time. What he sees while he is at war will not only turn him into a man but give him a soldier's heart.
The setting of the first World War was significant because it put the two main characters, Elijah and Xavier, in a situation where they constantly got discredited and faced brutal racism. The setting also represented a dark mood and also made it possible to clearly identify when different characters were speaking and sharing their point of views. The dark mood also shows the gruesome truth and reality of the World War in great detail. Giving the readers an insight of the characters thoughts during a war also proved how such traumatic events drove people insane and changed their lives forever.
In Three Day Road, Xavier is exposed to slow violence by cultural and emotional conflict throughout the war, which resulted in post-traumatic stress. Xavier is a remorseful character because of how he was brought up. Regardless of his role in the war, he feels remorse every time he kills. His beliefs do not change. He does not compromise his beliefs over the expectation to hate the enemy or in the company of Elijah who evidently has compromised his prior beliefs.
War lights the barrel keg within everyone reveling their true identity, by abandoning their past beliefs. Joseph Boyden illustrates the importance of cultural identity, throughout the novel Three Day Road. Xavier shows devotion towards his culture, by constantly trying to hold onto whatever reminded himself of it. Another character, Niska, betrays herself by abandoning her culture as a result of losing her identity. Elijah also completely strips of his cultural identity when he turns windgo.
Xavier now loses the will to survive the war. After Elijah finds out about Xavier’s encounter with Lisette he is upset that, “[He] paid a lot of money for her time with [him]. If [he] knew [Xavier] was going to fall in love like a fool, [he] wouldn’t have done it.” (257).
The ability to rise above past difficulties and experiences and move forward is an underappreciated ability, that can ultimately lead to success in future situations. In Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road, a novel about three young indigenous people, Boyden displays the importance of rising above personal difficulties through the characters’ efforts to overcome the racist mindset in Canada at the time, as well as their struggles throughout the first World War . Though many attempt to bury their difficulties in the past, the inability to do so often contributes to a person losing connection with the real world and their loved ones. In this context, real world refers to the everyday life of a typical person in Canada, peacefully with their family
In Boyden’s Three Day Road, Elijah becomes heavily reliant on morphine as a reliever, but it causes Elijah to be emotional destroyed. Elijah’s best friend Xavier starts to notice how morphine is eating his friend alive: When he’s gone too long without the medicine, he tells me, he becomes fragile and headaches cause him is much pain that death seems a good alternative. When he does not take morphine, he is afraid of the world, and that is not a good feeling … But when the Golden Liquid is in his veins! Even at night the world is bathed in a soft light ...
The Second Side of War There are two sides to war, a physical war in order to survive, and an internal struggle to stay true to your heritage or to assimilate to achieve a higher social status. In Three Day Road Joseph Boyden shows the pressures to rise with in a social hierarchy versus maintaining cultural identity through the characters of Xavier and Elijah, he shows that assimilating leads to destruction and the preservation of traditions leads to survival and healing, illustrated through Elijah’s insanity, and Xavier’s recovery from the war. The effect of war is a reoccurring theme in the novel; war consumes everything in its path, similar to the Windigo. In the Ojibwa legend of the Windigo, after being bestowed super natural powers by
Dealing with Adversity Throughout one’s life, adversity is inevitable. It presents itself unexpectedly in many forms; loneliness, despair, loss of a loved one, stress, and even in the actions of others. In the novel “Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden, Elijah faces adversity after joining the war. However, the approaches Elijah takes to overcome the several hardships he faces makes him an undesirable model for coping with adversity. Elijah’s approaches are ineffective at coping with adversity because he follows misguided advice and becomes apathetic during war, resulting in major impacts on his life which lead to his downfall.
In Tim O'Brien's “Enemies” and “Friends”, O'Brien shows the effect the nature of war has on individuals and how war destroys and creates friendships. These two stories describe the relationship between two soldiers, Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen. In “Enemies”, friendship is broken over a fist fight about a stolen jackknife, which leaves Strunk with a broken nose and Jensen paranoid of whether or not Strunk’s revenge is coming. While in “Friends”, you see how the nature of war creates a bond of trust, even between people who first saw each other as enemies.
Three Day Road is a novel by Joseph Boyden, first published in 2005. The story is set from Niska’s teenage days in the early 1870s to the pre-WWI years, the war itself and the immediate post-war time. It takes place in Northern Ontario and on the battlefields of France and Belgium. We follow two parallel narratives, Niska’s and Xavier’s. They are both Cree Indians.
What is Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder and why should we learn more about it? Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD) is a brain disorder that is caused by stress and some sort of trauma. This disorder can be influenced by life occurrences such as being in a war, abuse, assault, natural and unnatural disasters, military combat, and even accidents. PTSD affects the lives of 8 million people worldwide, including children!
Elie says You instead of God to emphasize his hatred to God. Elie is angry because he thinks that it is God's fault for how much he and others had suffered through. He goes on to talk about how the men around him continue to stay faithful to God, even though they have suffered so much. In his hatred he thinks, “But these men here, whom You have betrayed, whom You have allowed to be tortured, butchered, gassed, burned, what do they do? They pray before You!