Johnny Got His Gun

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Melanie Gonzalez
English ll
March 25, 2012
Miss Hartman
Johnny Got his Gun
Ever wondered what it’s really like to be in war? Welcome to reality and welcome to Joe’s reality. Joe is a living, breathing, and perfect example of what war is and the effects of it. Some say, Joe might as well not even be living. In Johnny Got His Gun, Trumbo uses three rhetorical strategies; imagery, rhetorical questions, and mood and tone. Through imagery, we envision the reality of war. Through mood and tone, the author writes in such a way that creates a certain feeling towards war as well as towards Joe. Through rhetorical questions, the author leaves us thoughts to ponder on.

Imagery is one of the strategies that appeal to all of our senses. Trumbo does a great job in portraying the realities and encounters of war. Trumbo carefully describes war by using spine-tingling examples. For example, in chapter XII, Joe mentions a young Englishman walking through a field and falling into a decomposing man. The young man couldn’t get out, and he threw up, still with his arm completely lodged in the rotting flesh of what used to be a living, breathing human being. Just the way that Joe describes the situation, it sends chills running down your spine! I suddenly felt as if I was the one who had fallen through the dead man. This is just one of the many traumatizing encounters of the war. Also, in chapter XII, a man with an open-view stomach was brought to be treated. Just imagine that? I don’t think I would’ve been able to bear the sight of a person’s organs out in the open. Imagery allows us to visualize the painful, physical horrors of war. Trumbo appeals to our emotions in a way that makes us feel like we are physically in the war and what Joe must be feeling.

Mood and tone is the key to how a reader feels and the way authors express themselves. The mood is depressing while the author expresses a negative tone towards war. Joe strongly dislikes that he is being forced to fight...
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