Analysis Of The Book ' World War I ' Essay

Analysis Of The Book ' World War I ' Essay

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World War I, an event which changed the geopolitical makeup as well as the attitudes of the world, consisted of people killing other people. In fact, every war is made up of people. In the day to day lives of civilians today, whether watching the news or reading a history book, the personal aspect of wars, particularly, is lost to many people. The notion that every soldier is a human being with likes, dislikes, talents, families, and favorite foods would certainly be acknowledged on a multiple-choice test, but practically it seems to be forgotten. Books like An American Soldier in World War I¸ however, help ground the massive geopolitical turmoil involved in a war like the Great War in the reality of humanity. The book’s goal is to look at the letters George Browne wrote to discover what other American doughboys just like him went through in World War I.
This book is based on the personal letters of George E. Browne to his fiancée, Martha Johnson. Browne, or “Brownie” as he writes in the letters, was not a politician, noble, or celebrity. Instead, he was a twenty-three year old civil engineer who lived in Waterbury Connecticut, and led a simple life. When the United States declared war on the Central Powers on April 6, 1917, however, he felt compelled to serve his country in the national crisis which was facing them. In addition, he wanted to have some control over his placement, a privilege which he would not have received had he been drafted. As a result, he was sent away to begin the training process of becoming a soldier about two months after the United States’ declaration of war. The only practical way of maintaining his relationship with “Marty” was by writing letters as often as possible. The individual chapters of this b...

... middle of paper ... not yet on the front lines.
Before long, Brownie and his comrades did see the front lines. In fact, the battle of the Ourcq River in France resulted in “Nearly twenty percent of its soldiers . . . either wounded or killed.” In the battle of Saint-Mihiel, which followed, the Rainbow Division sustained twelve hundred casualties, “including nine engineers killed in action and another eighteen wounded.” Right after the battle, after seeing and experiencing the carnage of war, Brownie wrote, “You know who I’d like to have for company—Guess who. Wouldn’t that be enjoyable if it could be so.” Despite his adventures in the military, he still longed to be with the love of his life. It is stories like this—the emphasis upon the humanity within the news stories, so to speak—that motivates readers to reevaluate how they view history. In short, Snead accomplished his goal.

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