The Horror of war on the Soldier in Charles Yale Harrison’s Generals Die in Bed Eng 22 PB
Some people say that war can change a man. What exactly do they mean by this phrase? What are some possible things that a soldier could experience in war? What are some things a soldier has experienced enough of that can fundamentally change his life? In Charles Yale Harrison’s novel Generals Die in Bed, the horror of war is a vital theme and is characterized through many challenges the narrator encounters in the novel. The horror of war is portrayed throughout the novel through things such as having a perpetual fear of the unknown, the psychological effects of war, and conclusively: death.
Not knowing what is going to happen is always an intimidating feeling. The idea of not knowing what is coming up always makes us believe that something horrendous is going to take place. In Generals Die in Bed, a non-stop fear of the unknown is an important point throughout the novel. In war, there are only millions of things that could take place during one single day. Charles Harrison has made this point clear to the readers by focusing on one scenario after another of unexpected events right in the narrator’s face. It is through what the narrator experiences that we glimpse the true nature of war. In Chapter 4, “Back to the Round”, the narrator and the rest of his company have to move around the trenches on their bellies. This is because there are snipers in the trees which causes consistent fear of death. Although they identify that there is a sniper, they still fear it because they cannot anticipate exactly when he will strike. “Sooner or later this German sniper, who keeps us cowering in a cold fear, will be caught in an advance by our troops.” Also in chapter 4, the character of Brown, is killed by the sniper. Brown’s death would have made the narrator even more frightened of the unknown because he now knows what a sniper is truly capable of. This is the same...
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