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War literature has common themes such as loss, patriotism and futility, how far is this true in relation to the literature of ww - Dissertation Example

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Contents Abstract 2 1 Introduction 3 1.1 Background history 4 1.2 Aims and objectives 7 2 Literature review 8 2.1 Popular war themes in the pre WWI literature: 8 2.2 War literature of the WWI 11 2.3 Literature of WWII 15 2.4 Literature of the Vietnam War 20 3 Methodology 25 4 Analysis 29 5 Conclusion 31 Bibliography 31 Abstract From the start of the human civilisation and the beginnings of a community living, war formed an integral part of human existence…
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War literature has common themes such as loss, patriotism and futility, how far is this true in relation to the literature of ww
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Download file to see previous pages Such sentiments continued as basic war themes in various poems, dramas, and novels, right to the end of the nineteenth century. With the coming of the twentieth century, however there appeared a wave of modernism that removed all ideologies of romanticism from the realms of war literature. Romanticism, heroism, and patriotism were replaced by the theme of death, cynicism, and dilemma on the futility of the wars fought and lives lost. The Vietnam War, which belongs to the postmodern era, conveyed a picture of realism that focussed on mainly on evils of war. This article will examine the transformations in the war literature that took place for almost over a century, starting with the nineteenth century era of romanticism and hero worship, to the modern twenty- first century wars that speak of death and gory in the battlefield, with special emphasis on WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam war. War themes in the literature of WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War 1 Introduction Soldiers, prepare! Our cause is Heaven's cause; / Soldiers, prepare! Be worthy of our cause: / Prepare to meet our fathers in the sky: / Prepare, O troops, that are to fall to-day! Prepare, prepare!” – William Blake (A War Song to Englishmen) Throughout history, war has always played the role of a major determining factor in shaping a country’s socio-economic, cultural, and religious aspects. War, right from start of human civilisation, received societal approval, until the end of the 19th century. Therefore, it is of little wonder that war has been a persistent theme in art and literature, throughout the various ages. War literature always mirrored the hopes and aspirations of men in the battlefield, and also that of the society back home. There was a conscious feeling of patriotism, which intermingled with a pervading sense of futility about the lives lost in the various wars. The literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, also show a certain air of romanticism attached to the notions of war and the heroic actions of the brave soldiers at the front. However, all these started changing with the beginning of the twentieth century, when war slowly became a more grim matter, an issue of death, dying, and endless suffering, with a complete lack of the Victorian glorification of the war. We notice this slow transformation during the WWI when the era of modernism with its themes of individualism, a deep mistrust towards all state and religious institutions, and a general air of breaking away from social and conventional norms, entered the literary world. The basic principles of modernism can be summarised as related to concerns centred upon “the deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the technique of life" (Simmel, 2004, 79). The Vietnam War was however like a huge jolt, which shook the entire social world out of its repose, while also transforming the genre of war literature, making it more realistic, and reflecting the large scale destruction that war actually spelled out. The Vietnam War further removed all traces of nationalism from ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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