Millions of people have gone through life-altering experiences in their time in World War I. In Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Bäumer, a 19-year-old German soldier, narrates his personal memoirs of this war. He describes the mental change and suffering he goes through as he is forced to mature from a young boy to a soldier in order to survive, leaving him permanently scarred from the throes of war. By employing juxtaposition to contrast Paul’s mindset, before and after the war, Remarque demonstrates how the mental health of the World War I soldiers is damaged because of the abrupt loss of their youth, leaving them in a state of survival and mental instability.
Throughout the ages, wars have wreaked havoc and caused great destruction that lead to the loss of millions of lives. However, wars also have an immensely destructive effect on the individual soldier. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front written by Erich Maria Remarque, one is able to see exactly to what extent soldiers suffered during World War 1 as well as the effect that war had on them. In this essay I will explain the effect that war has on young soldiers by referring to the loss of innocence of young soldiers, the disillusionment of the soldiers and the debasement of soldiers to animalistic men.
The book All Quiet on the Western Front takes place during World War I. The author, Erich Maria Remarque, describes how dehumanizing war can be for soldiers who give their life to serve their country and protect it. Remarque specifically describes the hardships of a German soldier Paul during the war. Through Remarque’s story we learn that war affects relationships, thought processes, natural instincts and many more functions of a soldier. We learn over the course of this book that all soldiers change through war.
In November of 1955, the United States entered arguably one of the most horrific and violent wars in history. The Vietnam War is documented as having claimed about 58,000 American lives and more than 3 million Vietnamese lives. Soldiers and innocent civilians alike were brutally slain and tortured. The atrocities of such a war are near incomprehensible to those who didn’t experience it firsthand. For this reason, Tim O’Brien, Vietnam War veteran, tries to bring to light the true horrors of war in his fiction novel The Things They Carried. The novel focuses on coping with the death and horror of war. It also speaks volumes about the true nature of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the never-ending struggle of dealing with it. In the
In war conditions, sometimes soldiers are forced to do what they don’t want to do. This action, sometimes makes them feel guilty even if they weren’t. In the novel, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, the author emphasizes that the things soldiers carry in war, the people they killed, the soldier’s feelings, psychology, and the moral of what they have done cannot be all of the soldier’s responsibilities. Soldiers fear that they would be excluded from the society, and they’d be accused from all the wildness of the war because of what they have done. In the chapters, “On the Rainy River” and “Ambush,” the author adumbrate us the emotions that soldiers had been through by using the techniques direct address, the point of view
When faced with war soldiers change, for better or for worse. Modern culture celebrates the glory of patriotic sacrifice. However, this celebration often leaves out the gritty details and trauma of violence behind war and the way it affects people. Homer’s The Odyssey and William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives clearly discuss these details. Both debate the long-awaited return of warriors that went off to fight a war and the way the experience changes the protagonists. A warrior’s homecoming is typically thought to be full of loving comfort from family and friends, exemplified in images in popular culture. However, there is in fact a tragedy behind the whole ordeal, caused by the lack of effective communication by the homecoming warriors.
Throughout life we experience hardships, and we use these past experiences to help us make future decisions that overall grow as human beings. In Tim O ‘ Brien’s novel “The Things They Carried,” the characters not only carry physical baggage but emotional ones as well. They are forced to feel the effects of war such as guilt, burdens, and other factors that come with being a soldier.
Combat, loyalty, enmity, bloodshed, and duty, all words that fit under the category of war. The novel Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is about Louis Zamperini a strong willed man raised in Torrance, California. He started as a young troublemaker until he discovered his passion for running in high school. That very passion led him to compete in the Olympics. Later he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, a brave decision that would change his life. War and its affinities have various emotional effects on different individuals, whether facing adversity within the war or when experiencing the psychological aftermath.
“They carried the common secret of cowardice barely restrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hide, and in many respects this was the heaviest burden of all, for it could never be put down, it required perfect balance and perfect posture.” (O’Brien 77) Tim O’Brien clearly demonstrates to the reader that one of the most difficult burdens to bear is being a coward because even though carrying over fifty pounds of equipment is hard on the body physically cowardice is among the worst pain because you can never put that feeling down for even a second to relieve the pain. The novel The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, intends to show the reader how the platoons soldier’s cowardice and dread can effect them in the form of regret later in
Hidden somewhere within the blurred lines of fiction and reality, lies a great war story trapped in the mind of a veteran. On a day to day basis, most are not willing to murder someone, but in the Vietnam War, America’s youth population was forced to after being pulled in by the draft. Author Tim O’Brien expertly blends the lines between fiction, reality, and their effects on psychological viewpoints in the series of short stories embedded within his novel, The Things They Carried. He forces the reader to rethink the purpose of storytelling and breaks down not only what it means to be human, but how mortality and experience influence the way we see our world. In general, he attempts to question why we choose to tell the stories in the way we
During the turbulent times of the Vietnam War, thousands of young men entered the warzone and came face-to-face with unimaginable scenes of death, destruction, and turmoil. While some perished in the dense Asian jungles, others returned to American soil and were forced to confront their lingering combat trauma. Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried provides distinct instances of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and reveals the psychological trauma felt by soldiers in the Vietnam War.
In Soldier from the War Returning, Thomas Childers writes that “a curious silence lingers over what for many was the last great battle of the war.” This final battle was the soldier’s return home. After World War II, veterans came back to the United States and struggled with stigmatized mental illnesses as well as financial and social issues.
In Jane Brody’s alarming article, “War Wounds That Time Alone Can’t Heal” Brody describes the intense and devastating pain some soldiers go through on a daily basis. These soldiers come home from a tragic time during war or, have vivid memories of unimaginable sufferings they began to experience in the battle field. As a result these soldiers suffer from, “emotional agony and self-destructive aftermath of moral injury…” (Brody). Moral injury has caused much emotional and physical pain for men and women from the war. Soldiers feel that they are, “undeserving of happiness, perhaps even unfit to live.” (Brody). Moral injury is a powerful and extremely emotional disease. Veterans should not wake up every morning with a feeling of regret, unworthiness,
Men have seemingly been the dominant force when it comes to jobs. However, in 1861, specific gender roles for men and women diminished due to the Civil War. As males traveled to the battlefront, women undertook masculine roles in order for society to continually thrive. Charles Frazier, the author of Cold Mountain, includes the tales women and men during the Civil War era, along with how the society's viewpoint evolved throughout the years.
Unless you have been in war or have read The Things They Carried, you can't fully