Causes of war in Generals Die in Bed - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
In his effort to tell the truth about war, the author delivers his anti-war message via the book’s central theme which is the brutalizing consequence of war. From…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92.3% of users find it useful
Causes of war in Generals Die in Bed
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Causes of war in Generals Die in Bed"

Causes of War in Generals Die in Bed Charles Yale Harrison’s novel Generals Die in Bed describes the experiences of a soldier in the trenches of WWI. In his effort to tell the truth about war, the author delivers his anti-war message via the book’s central theme which is the brutalizing consequence of war. From the title of the novel, the reader is able to read some bitterness in the author’s tone that seems to be blaming the origins and consequences of war on authorities that are superior to the soldier on the frontline. Essentially, it appears that war is a strategy game fought amongst the generals and the soldiers are simply unwitting participants. From this perspective, this essay will discuss how the causes of war are presented in Generals Die in Bed.
The narrator says “We have learned who our enemies are – the lice, some of our officers, and Death” (Harrison 69). From where the officers are categorized they are by no means casual enemies of peace and, more importantly, not only within the military rankings. This is an implication that war has its original roots in political ideals and trickles down into the military for execution. For instance, the soldiers are given the controversial story about the sinking of the hospital ship Llandovery Castle by German soldiers, which court proceedings later proved otherwise. However, the controversy of the story politicized it, misleading the soldiers into thinking they were on a revenge mission. Further, when the narrator was sent to Britain after being wounded, a hospital orderly told him “that was bloody murder, brother. Our officers oughta be shot for that. She was carryin’ supplies and war material” (Harrison 48).
Two aspects of the novel portray generals and, by extension politicians, as the perpetrators of war. The most notable one is the book’s title. Then, there is the ending where the narrator says “and when the war is done and youth stone dead, I’d toddle safely home and die - in bed” (Harrison 152). The implication here is that while generals strategize and send soldiers to war (ideally to war against the strategies of opposing generals and effectively the opposing young soldiers), they remain in the comfort of their homes. It is the soldiers who die in the trenches supposedly in a display of patriotism. However, the book’s titles as well as the ending are a statement that the war is in fact protecting the ideals of politicians through the military generals. This notion can still be viewed from the perspective of bureaucracy from the first chapter one day before the soldiers board the train. The narrator talks of how officers and the military police round up the soldiers from brothels and saloons and prepare them for their trip (Harrison 4). Evidently, the officers and the military police are authoritatively above the soldiers and more importantly, are serving the interests of higher powers. Therefore, it can be concluded that politics and the bureaucratic structure of the military are presented as the causes of war in the book.
Works Cited
Harrison, Charles Y. Generals Die in Bed. Toronto: Annick, 1928. Print. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Causes of war in Generals Die in Bed Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved de
(Causes of War in Generals Die in Bed Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words)
“Causes of War in Generals Die in Bed Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Causes of war in Generals Die in Bed

Causes of Vietnam War

...? Causes of Vietnam War School Inarguably, one of the longest standing conflicts between the nations of the world was the Cold War. The Cold War is defined by many critics as a “state of political, social and military tension, which divided the world into two major factions, one led by the United States of America and its allies from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, while the other faction led by the Soviet Union and other major powers in the communist world” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary n.d.)1. The Cold War, “which got its name from an article by George Orwell” (Orwell 1945)2, lasted for more than four decades, from 1947 to 1991. This...
8 Pages(2000 words)Research Paper

Causes of the Civil War

.... Barbara Fields, however, disagrees with this assumption stating that, the United States made war on the Confederates not because of the slavery abolition, but because it wanted to preserve the Union (Rios). The Emancipation of all the slaves in the Union was simply an excuse made to start the war that would force the southern states back into the Union. According to Fields, the northern states only declared war on the Confederate states because they not only wanted to preserve the Union, but also to ensure that they did not have a powerful rival. In essence, the northern states wanted to retain their advantage as the leading states in the Union by enforcing their dominance. This...
3 Pages(750 words)Research Paper

Causes for World War 1

... Causes of World War Introduction There are several long range immediate causes of World War The main contributing factors were militarism, nationalism, imperialism and alliance systems. All great powers including Britain, France and Italy were competing for colonies and territories that offered raw materials and cheap source of labour. For instance, Britain feared the influence of Germany in Africa while Australia feared the influence of Serbia in the Balkans. Imperialism led to nationalism since the great nations wanted to assert their power and self-determination especially in Europe whereby slavs aided by Russia wanted to be free from Australian rule. Accordingly, the increased tensions led to the formation of alliances... towards the...
3 Pages(750 words)Term Paper

Causal paper: What causes war

...Module What Causes War? War erupts when two entities are in a disagreement. They always have opposing views on a particular subject which affects the stability of the concerned parties. As such, they have to make sure they resolve these issues before the matter gets out of hand. There are many causes of war, depending on the interests of the concerned parties (Thompson 134). Some causes of war are minute to some countries, but to other countries, they mean a lot. Therefore, there is no single root cause of war between nations and regions as each of the regions fight for their interest...
4 Pages(1000 words)Research Paper

Causes of the Civil War

... The Causes of the American Civil War The American Civil War, which is also known as the War Between the States, is considered as one of the most essential historical turning points in the social, political, and economical aspect of the country. It had caused enormous social and political changes in the country that had brought new meaning to unity and the emancipation of slavery. In line with this, since time immemorial, many historians had considered and some had conceded to the fact that the presence of slavery of African Americans and the anti-slavery was the root cause of the American Civil War between the years...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Revolt of the generals

...Harris Kamran Government and Politics 17 September 2007 Revolt of the Generals According to Andrew Basevich, there has been, since long, a constant civilian- military tussle.1 Hence, this "Revolt of the Generals", based on operation Iraq, is not an alien concept, but is just another way of venting the deep-seeded frustration and differences that are present among the ranks of both the civilian and the military organizations. In fact, Richard Kohn goes as far as to claim that the revolt is nothing but "impropriety" on the part of the army generals.2 However, causes forming the basis of this resentment must be considered... ...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Generals Die in Bed

... for freedom where ever there's trouble. GI Joe is there. He never gives up. He'll stay til the fight's won. GI Joe will dare. GI Joe - A real American hero." (Kinder ) When picturing the outcome of the winning side of war - doesn't the picture include that of a soldier being greeted by his loving family at the airport; train station or dock - whole, happy and intact - a conqueror Reading the book, Generals Die in Bed - puts a bitter end to all those illusions. Illusions created by those who benefit from recruiting the best of the citizens to contain or put down a disagreement with another society that will not be worked out in peace. The book holds back nothing in it's descriptions of the filth, cold, starvation, sleep privation... - are...
6 Pages(1500 words)Book Report/Review

Causes of the Civil War

...The Causes of the Civil War Introduction The reason of American Civil War is still a controversial issue actively discussed by many scientists. This question remains interesting due to the following fact: only a small number of people who joined the army at the very beginning of the war stated that they had been going to fight against slavery. Nevertheless, scientists believe that but for the slavery, this war would have never started. This is true, however there are a number of other stimuli, which should not be left unnoticed. This fact is explained by Kenneth Stampp (1992) Because the century of historical inquiry, if it leaves...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Analysis of Generals Die In Bed through the eyes of two chosen authors

...Analysis of “Generals Die in Bed” Through the Eyes of Two Administrator: 2009-12-02, 20:03 The appalling low value set on the lives of common soldiers fighting World War I is chillingly dissected by a Canadian author, Charles Yale Harrison (1930), in his parody, “Generals Die In Beds.”. The not dissimilar views of two disparate but prominent book reviewers regarding the novel are set out utilizing a Mythic Question (Sam Keene and Anne Valley-Fox, 1973) to frame this Paper’s outline while analyzing a WWI painting “We Are Making A New World” (Paul Nash, 1918) against the lessons of the nonsensical...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Causes of War

...means if the dialogue fails to work, to ensure that they eliminate any nation that comes into control of those limited resources. Conflicts as phenomena have terrible consequences and outcomes whenever it happens in a country or between nations. Some of the causes of conflict can be minimized to zero level if indeed we care about our lives, families, animals, plants and the environment, in general. Both the long term and short term effects of war have never been desirable to either of the parties involved in it since nations are forced to take other decades in retrieving their economic paths. Our tribal, community, political and national leaders should, for this reason, play a major...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Causes of war in Generals Die in Bed for FREE!

Contact Us