Generals Die in Bed Reading Journal

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Chapter 1: Recruits

Chart the significant plot details for each section; highlight what you consider to be the turning points in this section of the narrative * It is after midnight on payday.
* "Down the line" in Montreal is Cadieux Street, St. Elizabeth Street, La Gauchetière Street, Vitre Street, Craig Street. The houses are known by their numbers, 169 or 72 or 184. * In the bunk next to the Narrator/Soldier is man named Anderson, a middle aged, slightly bald and overly religious man. * A young boy staggers back to his bunk yellow in the face, very drunk. The boys in the far corner. * Some of the men in the house are talking about women irrespective, Anderson stands up to them as he thinks they are sinning in the eyes of the lord.

* The soldiers train is to leave Bonaventure station at eight. More than half the battalion is drunk * It takes an hour to line up the men for the parade outside the barracks. * Outside in the street they hear sounds of celebration; fireworks are being exploded in their honor. * The soldiers are put into position as well as the officers; they march from the parade square into the street. * The women are hysterical that the soldiers are leaving; The narrator/soldier meets a young woman who puts her arm around him and kisses him. This makes the narrator feel lonely and doesn’t want to leave her for war. * The Narrator/Soldier is only eighteen and hasn’t had any experiences with women like this. * At the station, they board onto the trains to set off for war.

What is your interpretation of the characters during each section? Does this change? Comment on the relationships between the characters; who gets along with whom? Why or why not? Include some significant quotations that assist with characterisation. Anderson was the first character to be announced in chapter one; he seems like a rather pathetic figure, who presumably joined the war as it was seen as the right thing to do. Anderson tries to keep the moral high ground, and complains when the soldiers talk turns to that of women etc. He is very religious and keeps to himself reading the bible. My interpretation of Anderson did change as the chapter went on. At first I thought he kept to himself a lot, which turned out to be wrong because he has the courage to try knocking some sense into some of the immature soldiers whom he doesn’t get along with at all. The narrator is an everyman character, you don’t get to know his name, or have any background on him. At the time of enlistment he is 18 and inexperienced with women. My interpretation on him was that he is ver y frightened of the war and wants to be able to experience more things in his life.

Language and structural elements characteristic of Harrisons’ style. This would include any foreshadowing, use of evocative imagery such as similes, metaphors, symbols, motifs, other effective narrative devices: Harrison’s intention is to awaken his readers I think to a new reality of War. The opening chapter portrays the new soldiers leaving Montreal for the first time as lost, unhappy and childish in their attempts to blot out their fears of what is to come. The parade to the train station is described in a series of fragmented images, in an atmosphere of bewilderment and degradation. Give your reactions to: situations described in the text; the social world of the text; issues raised in the text and the ways the characters react to these issues: My reaction to the situations described in the text were that some of the soldiers didn’t have much respect for women and I thought it was great that Anderson stood up to them when they were being irrespective. My reaction to the way the narrator reacted to going war was that he is only a boy, 18. He shouldn’t have to be doing this at this age; he hasn’t lived...
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