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How war is described in the war comic Barefoot Gen - Essay Example

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Barefoot Gen – A war story told by cartoons - Prajakta Kanegaonkar There have been numerous stories of Second World War. This war has been like a long deep grained wound which has not and would not heal. It is very difficult for generations suffered in those wars to forget the atrocities, lack of food, loss of loved ones, sacrifices, and most importantly the constant insecurity of life…
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How war is described in the war comic Barefoot Gen
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Download file to see previous pages They grew up with the war inside them and the war grew its shadow all over their lives. It would take a lot of courage for someone to talk about it to people. Keiji Nakazawa is one such war survivor from Japan. He was the witness and victim of nuclear bomb explosion in Hiroshima. His entire family barring his mother was killed in the explosion and the aftermath. He at such tender age became the support system of the family. His mother was eight month’s pregnant at the time of the explosion. She was very weak and due to shock gave premature birth to a girl child. Nakazawa’s account of survival would not be different from many others who survived the horrendous explosion of nuclear bomb. He depicted his experiences in a cartoon series which was published later. The medium he chose to speak was animation and the experiences that were larger than life. This contradiction is never lost when one is reading this series of animation. Animation is not usually directed towards adults. But the subject and substance of this series is meant for adults and children alike. The style, the strokes and the dialogues are all meant for adults while the medium chosen is animation of life of an eight year old boy. One expects innocence when protagonist or central character of a story is eight years of age, which is not the case as we see innocence getting lost in the story. Although the experiences are of an eight year old, the life around him can hardly be termed as innocent. War is seen as constant hunger, endless hardships of life, deprivation, cruelty and yet managing to stay alive and afloat. The war depicted in this book is not the war with frontline battles, guns and tanks, survival of heroes who fight for their motherland and patriotism. War in this book is the dark reality of many unsung heroes and endless sacrifices they have to make, to make the war at the front end possible and going. Talking of war as merely one military fighting with another would immediately be termed as sacrilege, but to keep the military going, the society and the population of the country has to endlessly go on sacrificing their own livelihood. These sacrifices are no less important. For a society the unending war and its demands would weigh against their own struggle and war for survival during such demanding times. There comes a moment when a common man starts to think about the futility of the entire cause. When Gen’s father is taken into custody for his ‘treacherous’ thoughts about doubting success of his own country in the war, he questions the police about the extent of sacrifices he is expected to make. He has sacrificed two of his boys, his family doesn’t have anything to eat, he doesn’t know how to get food for his family, he doesn’t have money and his family has been stripped off of a few belongings they have. He ardently believes in peace because he can survive only when there is peace in his country. He questions if government does take into account the hardships it is inflicting on its own countrymen (Page 31, 32, 33). His cry is of despair and desolation. He knows nobody would want to answer this question because nobody has an answer to this question. It is probably easier to think with a blindfold that sacrifices are essential, by everyone ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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