Compare and Contrast the Depiction of War and Soldiers in Birdsong and Strange Meeting

Topics: Trench warfare, World War I, World War II Pages: 3 (1177 words) Published: January 24, 2011
Compare and contrast the depiction of war and soldiers in “Birdsong” and “Strange Meeting”. In the first half of the twentieth century bloodshed was dominant as war on a global scale occurred on two occasions. These were not only effective on people that witnessed the catastrophe but also for propaganda and literature that would occur years later. Two of the most dominant authors depicting soldiers and war were Englishmen Sebastian Faulks and Susan Hill. They expressed their opinions on such matters with literature such as “Birdsong” and “Strange Meeting” respectively. In comparison both texts were wrote within the last forty years categorising them both as modernistic texts. Along with the information that both authors were neither there or around at the time, this would indicate that their novels are both adaptations of stories they have heard and open to artistic licence resulting in both being complete works of fiction. Throughout both extracts of the texts many comparisons and contrasts can be brought up involving the way war is opinionated for the soldiers. The first contrast that can be made is the indication that the 3rd person illustrates about the trenches but through two different styles of writing. “Birdsong” creates the feeling of negativity relating to the trenches through a strong use of imagery involving death. Language such as ‘wailing’, ‘primitive fear’ and ‘rigid body’ along with the use as short and punctual sentences creates a representation of a constantly changing and dangerous environment perhaps portraying the speed of the soldiers’ heartbeats involved, enabling the reader to understand the rush and panic the soldiers are feeling and representing the horror of the trenches from the soldiers’ point of view. This is in stark contrast to “Strange Meeting” which describes the trenches with descriptive language and in a positive light, ‘…a full moon shone above the ridge. The frost was thin and here and there it caught in the pale light on...
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