Whether Writers Engage In War As Combatants Or Not Is Unimportant

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Whether writers engage in war as combatants or not is unimportant. What matters is the immediacy and actuality of what they portray.’ How far do you agree with this statement? In your response you should comment on and analyse the connections and comparisons between at least two texts you have studied. Writers who aren’t directly involved in combat can offer a truthful and accurate portrayal of war, equally writers who are combatants can equally do this.
One of the actualities of war that is often expressed by writers is the disparagement of the archetypal solider, which is presented to the civilians. In The Ghost Road, Barker uses the character of Prior to personify the antithesis of a solider of war, to perhaps reveal a more honest perception about the impact of war psychologically on the combatants. A way in which Barker presents Prior as the antithesis of the a solider of war is that when Barker chooses change the narrative from an almost third person account to a narrative in which Prior is in his own mind, she often uses lists such as ‘Owen’s chances of ending the year deaf, blind and dumb’ the effect of this makes Prior seem much more cynical and desensitised that what would be expected from a solider of War; this is due to the fact that Prior is a Corporal, which means that he is an officer. The expectation of an officer is that they will care for and protect the men under their command, Barker on the other hand chooses to present Prior as a cold and callous leader, who expects the death or mutilation of his men, this is an immediate disparagement of the archetypal solider. Barker’s creation of Prior as a character is a manifestation of her knowledge of the true psychological impacts of war on the combatants, Barker uses this knowledge to create a much more honest perception of a soldier who has experienced war, one which completely disparages the propagandist view of soldiers that were presented at the time of war. Another way in which Barker presents

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