Fires on The Plain: A Reflection
Fires on the Plain is truly the most depressing, haunting, and sad story I have ever endured reading. The complete abandonment of the Japanese soldiers on the island of Leyte by the Japanese Army is revolting, as well as the complete disregard for each others well being among them. It becomes a battle between one another for survival. The lack of comradery among the Japanese soldiers is dumbfounding, and leads me to believe that it may very well have been there demise. The weaknesses we see in Tamura and the other soldiers not only have a great impact on their unfortunate outcome, but are also a result of a weakness within the Japanese Army itself. The awful fate of these soldiers, at the hands of their own command, is infuriating. Shohei's story holds powerful, and several dangerous implications of what war is like and what it's effects can be on those who fight in them.
I would like to start by talking about comradery. Comradery can be defined as the spirit of friendship and community in a group, like a group of soldiers. Tamura's story shows zero evidence of any sort of comradeship, he even describes the way in which it he saw it disappear on Leyte, “Before long any comradeship that we once felt for each other had virtually disappeared.”(pg. 9). I could also see this in the way they treated each other. Initially, Yasuda and Nagamatsus' relationship could be mistaken for comradeship, but I realized that they were only using each other and did not care at all about the others well being. Which becomes quite clear at the end of the book. I have no doubt that this complete lack of comradery was mostly a result of their horrific situation, but I also believe that it could have existed before it. The way in which Tamura laughed while watching his fellow soldiers run around like “insects”(pg. 59), and the fact that Nagamatsu would hunt, kill, and eat his fellow soldiers are disturbing examples of the complete disregard...
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