Explore How Hill Presents the Brutality of War in 'Strange Meeting'

Topics: Truth, World War II, Novel Pages: 3 (863 words) Published: April 8, 2013
Susan Hill's Strange Meeting is a modern novel written in 1971, a novel names after one of Wilfred Owen's poems. It concentrates on a realistic representation of relationships between young men in the trenches of World War One and the reality of war and the impacts it has on individuals, similar to Pat Barkers Regeneration. Hill is a female author which is significant because the whole novel is based on a women's point of view. As a reader we can see this because of the devices Hill uses throughout the novel such as letters, devastation and possibly even love which progresses through the characters relationships.

The trenches on the Western Front are the setting for this story, which the trenches alone present the brutality of war as they seem to be a doorway to death. There was rat infestation, frogs, lice, and worms which would spread infections and contaminate the only food they had. Therefore even the environments which they had to face reflects the horrors that they had to endure being in the war, and this realism is certainly one of Hill's devices which has an effect on a reader. This lyrical beauty of Hill's narrative draws the reader in and doesn't let go.

Strange Meeting is set in the English countryside and the trenches in France in 1916 which was after the first Battle of the Somme and after a lot of devastating losses, so in hind sight we would already know what to expect. The book is divided into three parts which is a traditional structure. The first part is written from John Hilliard's point of view, the second mostly from David Barton's and the third could be called the combined view. It also begins at the end of summer, through to early autumn and then to the beginning of winter, this could suggest the passing of time or even the time leading up to death.

Hill uses Barton to show the reality of war and the impact the war had one him due to his experiences. He had once been an unscathed man, able to charm almost everyone and now he had...
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