Luigi Pirandello War
“War,” written by Luigi Pirandello, is a short story focusing on the tragic repercussions that World War I had on thousands of families. This short story is set on a train and involves four different families who discover the cruel reality of losing a loved one by listening to a traveling companion’s own grief about the war and the effect it has on him. It is suggested that Pirandello uses his literary works to reflect the bitterness of self-deception therefore making it arguable that the characters in “War” find reality in death through their companion’s testimony. Because of past denial, each character discovers that they are unstable beings when forced to recognize death. Analyzing the thoughts and opinions of the passengers can support this idea. Each traveler is enlightened after an accompanying passenger shares his personal testimony, shattering all previous views regarding the loss of a son for the benefit of the country.
Pirandello opens the story by introducing a husband and wife, both in deep mourning for their son that is to be sent to the front line. After the couple boarded the train, the husband felt that it was his duty to explain to his traveling companions that the poor old woman was to be pitied because the war was taking away her only son. This upset the couple because their son was assured that he would not be sent to the front line for at least six months and now all of a sudden he was commanded to report to the line in three days. The couple argues with the other passengers that their situation is as dire as it can get because this is their only son and there is no one left to console them if their son were to die. Until the woman met the man who gave his testimony, she mourned as though her life were ending along with her son’s departure. Although he was sent to the front line, “her grief had been greater in seeing that nobody -as she thought -could share her feelings.” After hearing the man’s statement concerning...
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