Experiences of War (W/ Related Tests)

Topics: Change, Vietnam War, Army Pages: 5 (2200 words) Published: February 17, 2013
War can have many impacts on individuals who have experienced it, both physical and psychological, which will have lifelong consequences and short-term effects. John Marsden's popular teenage novel "Tomorrow When the War Began" (1993) conveys the experiences of a group of teenage campers who are forced into the situation of war, and the impact it has on them. The instant effects of war on each individual show us how war can suddenly affect the 'average' person, and how the reality of war can change aspects on the world and life itself. A related text, which also focuses on the reality of war and experiences in a warlike situation, is The Herd's, an Australian hip-hop band, cover of "I Was Only 19" (2005).The Herd uses lyric and visual techniques in the video clip of "I Was Only 19" to convey the experiences of war. Both texts focus on and are able to convey the impact of war on individuals and the changes they must face in order to survive, morality and world view, and the long-lasting effects of war- physical and psychological. Both composers successfully communicate the harsh reality of war and the courage and mateship which is necessary to survive war. The novel "Tomorrow When the War Began" successfully conveys the idea that the average person can be thrust into a warlike situation, and the reality of the war will had a large impact on their life which will force changes to take place. Ellie and her friends are an example of a group of teenagers, who consider themselves to be 'average' and 'innocent', but when they are faced with the unnamed enemy, they are forced to make many changes to how they once lived, including making decisions that would possibly put their lives at risk. Taking hostage in "Hell" while on a camping trip, the group is not threatened by an enemy, and their lives do not seem at risk. Arriving back at Ellie's home to find the "dogs were dead", the realisation of war strikes the group as a whole with the suddenness of living in safety, to being thrust into the situation of fear. Marsden uses the death of the dogs as an insight into war, emphasising that war will involve death, loss and sadness. "Really frightened", the group must again take hostage back in Hell. Marsden's use of the place "Hell" as a safe home has vivid connotations of death, horror and evil, which is juxtaposed to the war and how the group can see Hell as "safe" and a hideaway, war is therefore conveyed as a place more gruesome and horrible than hell . The changes war forces onto the actions the group makes, and the individual's personalities is conveyed through the group having to change, in Homer's case, bringing out his personality and ability of leadership and keeping organisation present in the group, when "before the war" Homer was known as the "rough and tough" and the one who was always up to mischief. They are forced to react to war rationally, attempting to share food equally, therefore risking their lives attempting to get enough food for them to survive on. Simple changes such as "the way they walk", how they are able to see everywhere as a possible warzone, which helps them with accustoming to the difficult war situations. Ellie admits that "everyone trusted people. That was one thing that was going to change forever" as war had changed Ellie's aspect of people, she realised that humanity is horrible for suddenly invading her life and killing the people she loves, and she therefore has no reason to trust anyone. Changes are clearly visible in each character from "Tomorrow When the War Began" as they are forced to experience the reality of war, which is gruesome and horrible. Another key insight into the reality of war is morality and world view, conveyed by Marsden's novel. Morality focuses on what was once wrong, but war has changed a view of the world, and what actions are now acceptable. Ellie in particular suffers with accepting that she is involved in a war and "normal rules don't apply". Marsden uses the fact...
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