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Johnny Got His Gun Essay

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dignity because he could no longer interact with other humans. It was the
author’s idea of the worst case scenario that could have occurred to a
soldier who was injured. The description of his injuries gave the reader a
picture of what it would be like to have lived with no legs, arms, or a face.
It was a gruesome thought that helped personalize the story by making the
reader feel bad for the main character. At this time many perceived fighting
in a war to be noble but for most of the soldiers it was anything but noble.

Many times television shows, movies, and books had glamorized war, but that
was not the truth. This book showed the harsh reality of war that most people
didn’t know existed at the time. War is something that no man should ever
hope for, but young men were told that it was glorious to fight for your
country. The reality was that they put their lives on the line every day to
fight for their country. It may have been heroic but definitely not glamorous
to kill another human. In some cases, soldiers who were in wars had severe
mental problems when they would return home from war because of the brutality
they saw. When Joe finally became conscience of his surroundings he realized
what had happened to him. Due to his injuries Joe was isolated from the rest
of the world. This made it so that he didn’t even know if he was awake or
sleeping. He kept having flashbacks to the war and to his life previous to
the war. Then when he realized that his life was over he wanted to end it but
he had no power to. He told others through morse code but they denied him
death. The life that Joe Bonham led after his injuries was in no way
glamorous but instead the worst possible way to live


When I originally started reading this book I thought that war was a
necessary part of our society to keep other countries in order, but now I
realize that war serves no purpose whatsoever. It is just a waste of
resources and life that could be better used. I still believe that we should
have an army to protect us but I now feel that we should use more restraint
when sending in military force. In most cases it is not necessary to shed
blood in other countries. I believe that our army should only be used in
extreme cases when there is no other solution. In most cases it would be
possible to resolve a problem without fighting but it is easier to just...


... middle of paper ...


...ke the reader suffer, but to create recognition of the psychosis involved in co-existing with war.
Johnny Got His Gun is not a wholeheartedly pacifist novel. Like many social protest works of the 30s, it ends with a call to arms against the masters of war: "If you tell us to make the world safe for democracy we will take you seriously and by god and by Christ we will make it so." The novel embodies the blunt, defiant anti-militarist spirit of Eugene Debs, Socialist Party writer Mary Marcy and Gen. Smedley ("War is a racket!") Butler, the much-decorated WWI general who later changed his mind about war. Shortly after the publication of Johnny Got His Gun, this spirit waned as support for the new war effort enveloped the majority of the Left. (In 1947, Trumbo would become one of the "Hollywood 10" who defied the House Committee on Un-American Activities and were jailed and blacklisted for their stand.)
Then a generation later, along with that spirit, the novel resurfaced unexpectedly. They keep each other alive. Trumbo, who died in 1976, would have appreciated how quickly the hoopla for the Gulf War evaporated. His book played a part in that. Watch for


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