lStudy of Paired Text
All Quiet On the Western Front
Fly Away Peter
Lewis Milestone, director of the 1930 American movie All Quiet On the Western Front and David Malouf, author of the novel Fly Away Peter, both reveal the existence of hope and courage through the techniques used in their anti-war texts. The authors cleverly use characterisation, metaphorical devices and writer/directorial style to convey the notion that even in the most horrid scenes of war, something better may be waiting on the other side, which can in turn provide soldiers with the motivation they need to carry on and strive to reach the end of the war. One being written, the other visual, the protagonists both portray the generation of young men who were lost to World War I, never realising their potential. Malouf and Milestone use characterisation, the transformation of characters, Paul and Jim, to illustrate that courage is existent as the result of an individual’s hope for a changed and improved world. The protagonists were both said to be ‘in a state of dangerous innocence’ till they came to war, a state of innocence where they were both completely oblivious to the horrors that they will either live through or die from. These characters however don’t withdraw from hardship but instead sacrifice aspects of their personal lives in order to face and adapt to this difficult world, ‘a world unlike anything he had ever known or imagined’ is how Jim described the war on arrival. This sense of sacrifice is seen as the only positive quality to emerge from the inhumane nature of war. Jim is torn away from the sanctuary where he lived an idyllic sheltered lifestyle in harmony with nature and in the process gives up his dream job; similarly Paul puts his career as a talented and well known writer, another Goethe or Schiller according to Professor Kantorek, to a standstill. Even though we are introduced to two characters who are naïve to what lay ahead of them due to their innocence, it is depicted...
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