Johnny Got His Gun
Honors English 11
Dalton Trumbo Essay
In this passage from Dalton Trumbo’s novel Johnny Got His Gun, Trumbo provides an analysis of the relationship between Joe and his father. According to the author, Joe and his father went fishing annually, but this year, Joe finds himself a new fishing partner. His father allows him to go along and bestows him with his best fishing rod. Through the use of the third person point of view, selection of detail and syntax, Trumbo characterizes the close relationship between Joe and his father,
Dalton Trumbo uses the third person point of view to capture a universal view of the situation. This offers us a wider angle on the feelings, circumstances and thoughts of both the father and the son. For example, if it was first person point of view, the story would most likely be centered around Joe, giving us an inside look on what he is thinking and feeling but not what the father is feeling.
In this passage, however, the author uses details to show the sadness the father was feeling at not being able to carry on the fishing tradition he and his son had been following for the past few years. Before answering to the question Joe had asked of his father, where he asked his father if he could fish with Bill Harper, the father remains silent for a while. His brief silence gives the reader enough details to infer that the father was extremely saddened by the son’s request. It also makes the reader aware of the father’s love for his son when he offers the son his best fishing rod. The son’s equal affection for his father is shown when Dalton Trumbo makes note of the fact that the son gets a lump in his throat at the thought of deserting his father.
Dalton Trumbo also makes use of simple syntax to characterize the father son relationship in the passage. Through the use of diction and literary devices, Trumbo sheds light on the fact that small, insignificant actions...
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