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Insight into war through literature.

How and why do literary accounts of war allow us insight into a historical event? You might ask yourself such questions as: how does the reality of war differ from the romantic image of war? How does war change the combatant? What do soldiers value in the midst of war? Why did Germany lose World War I? Assess the settlement of Versailles. What were its benefits to Europe, and what were its drawbacks?

Historical, political accounts of war tend to be written from the perspective of the winning nation. Important issues relate to national determination, prosperity, finances, territory gained or lost and also highlight high ranking military and political figures. Though these issues are definitely important from a national point of view they ignore or at least minimize the lives of the soldiers on the ground as well as the impact of the war on civilians.

Social history and literary accounts of war give us the human perspective in war. Rather than focusing on the facts as they pertain to the nation, they focus on the feelings and focus of the individual.

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Historical, political accounts of war tend to be written from the perspective of the winning nation. Important issues relate to national determination, prosperity, finances, territory gained or lost and also highlight high ranking military and political figures. Though these issues are definitely important from a national point of view they ignore or at least minimize the lives of the soldiers on the ground as well as the impact of the war on civilians.

Social history and literary accounts of war give us the human perspective in war. Rather than focusing on the facts as they pertain to the nation, they focus on the feelings and focus of the individual.

How does reality of war differ from the romantic image of war?
The romantic image of war focuses on heroic deeds of valor. The soldier overcomes impulses to run or give in to base instincts but overcomes these in order to fight for love of comrade and country. The reality is quite different and is vividly portrayed in literary accounts of war. The Red Badge of Courage illustrates vividly from the main characters perspective the very real difference between visions of heroism and the reality and humiliation of experiencing personal cowardice.

How does war change the combatant?
War is not an event like any other that may or may not change the individual involved. The change is not always for the better. There are numerous accounts of soldiers and pilots who headed off to the far east, both in the years leading up to a war with Japan and also leading up to the Vietnam War, where ...

Solution Summary

This is a discussion of how we can gain insight into war through literature of that time period. World War I is specifically discussed. Over 1000 words of original text are contained in this discussion.

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