People learn more about the horrors of war through literature but do not infer from experience they gain; the only way they apply the knowledge about the war is the development of more sophisticated weapon to kill people.
As such, literature can be considered one of the most effective ways to reflect the war in terms of reasons, results, stories of people and their families, feelings and emotions, actions and virtues. Does the war help people to understand the values of life and demonstrate their virtues? I would like to review the works of literature the authors of which managed to show how horrible the war is so that successive generations did not want to solve the conflicts in this way.
The war is one of the most widely-spread and talked-about concepts of the contemporary society. The history should not be forgotten; it has to be reflected in literature for other people to learn the examples and know how destructive the mankind can be.
The relations between the people during the war were not clear, especially regarding the World War II when the concept of racism was advanced in terms of treating people rather than their skills, virtues, or features. In this respect, many people try to listen only to the stories about brave men who can come to rescue.
However, in the beginning of the book The Complete Maus: Maus I – A Survivor’s Tale; Maus II – And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman, the father tells the author: “It would take many books, my life, and no one wants anyway to hear such stories” (14). The images of mice use to depict Jews are bright and lively showing how horrible the war is in spite of the fact that people do not like to hear true storues.
The responsibility is a concept that has little relation to war because no one would claim that he/she started the war and made all those people suffer. Some Americans cannot still forget the horrors of the Vietnam War whereas the invasion of Iraq became another topic for literary tragedy.
As such, people suffer from the consequences of war which did not even finish because soldiers die leaving families without “Our fathers—our coaches, our teachers, our barbers, our cooks, our gas-station attendants and UPS deliverymen and deputies and firemen and mechanics—our fathers” (Percy, par. 8).
The most horrible thing is that the representatives of the government responsible for those victims of the war including soldiers and their families do not realize how many people are affected and how damaging and destructing the entire war conflict is.
Some people think that war is romantic in some way showing us heroes that bravely fight against the enemies. However, their attitude towards war is shaped in accordance with the principles advocated and propagated in media. On the contrary, the horrors of war are the same no matter how many time have passed since the last shot.
The World War I seems to be far away though its reflections are still engraved in the world history because it affected many countries and many people died or lost people their knew and loved. The poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen was inspired by the events of this war demonstrating the horrors of military operations. The author tells about the gas and the reaction of a human organism when one can do nothing to prevent the reaction:
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling and floundering like a man in fire or lime (Owen, lines 11-12). This poem ends with a statement that the famous Latin exhortation about the excitement from dying for the mother land is the lies.
Percy, Benjamin. “Refresh, Refresh.” The Paris Review 175, (2005): n. pag. Web. 4 June 2011.
Spiegelman, Art. The Complete Maus: Maus I – A Survivor’s Tale; Maus II – And Here My Troubles Began. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 1997. Print.
Owen, Wilfred. “Dulce Et Decorum Est.” N. pag. Web. 4 June 2011.