A Very Long Engagement

1109 Words5 Pages
When the war began and it came time to recruit soldiers no one was depressed or upset. Everyone was excited to be given the chance to fight for their countries. Wives and children were the only ones that were even a little worried about their families. With excitement, the men would march away to their destination, even putting flowers inside the barrels of their rifles. They didn’t understand the potential of what the war could be or even consider the possibility of not returning home. Sadly, the soldiers wouldn’t realize this until it was too late. Death and morbid mental images would plague their lives. They fought from tunnels in the ground. Small narrow tunnels that are just deep enough to hide the top of your head. They referred to the tunnels as trenches. Many described the warfare as fighting from a big hole in the ground. Trenches were their place of safety. The other side of a trench wall was “dead man’s land” a place where many people would lose their lives. Problems plagued the trenches including: parasites, disease, rodents, lack of hygiene, and poor weather conditions. In the film, A Very Long Engagement, Bastoche was convicted of self-mutilation and sentenced to death. Bastoche was convicted because he accidentally blew off his finger while he had his gun in hand beating off the rats that were tormenting him during sleep. Rodents were a large problem in the trenches. They spread diseases and gorged themselves on human remains. Men reported seeing rats the size of domestic house cats (Life in the Trenches of World War One). “In the cramped conditions many parasites thrived. Lice, notoriously hard to get rid of, were a never-ceasing problem; they bred in the seams of uniforms and caused the occupants to it... ... middle of paper ... ...were unable to reunite. Many children lost their fathers. Many soldiers were referred to as “missing” when no body was found to bring home. This was a war where every family member either fighting in or outside of the war found themselves defeated in some way. Bibliography "Illness and injury." Schools World War One. BBC. Web. 28 Feb 2014. . (Illness and injury) Campbell, John. "WWI: Medicine on the battlefield." Ncpedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb 2014. . (Campbell) "Life in the Trenches of World War One." . N.p., 18 January 2011. Web. 28 Feb 2014. . (Life in the Trenches of World War One) Christian Carion dir. "Joyeux Noel." 09 Nov 2005. DVD. Jean-Pierre Jeunet dir. "A Very Long Engagement." 27 Oct 2004. DVD.
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