Techniques Louis de Bernières Uses to Portray the Effects of the War Essay

Techniques Louis de Bernières Uses to Portray the Effects of the War Essay

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What techniques does Louis de Bernières use to portray the effects of
the war so powerfully?

Louis de Bernières uses many techniques to portray the effects of the
war as powerfully as he does. He uses techniques that vary from use of
language, to using the diary of a homosexual soldier. In the
in-between there are other techniques such as: contrast of the good
and bad effects of the war; death, from the inside and the outside; or
showing feelings from soldiers instead of numbers and figures.

From my point of view, the use of language is the technique that
sticks out the most. He uses all sorts of words, meanings, effects and
even languages! Just as he uses sarcasm everywhere: “War is a
wonderful thing. In movies and in books.” Sarcasm is very well
applied, as in a real war there is also sarcasm, cynism and irony in
everyone´s words. This creates the effect of reality and holds on to
the reader´s attention. He also tends to make good use of repetition:
“I hate puttees.” and “War is great.” Repetition, as in most pieces of
literature, creates a very positive effect on the reader. The power of
his words is amazing. He uses detail in every sentence, always
surprising the reader with new, powerful vocabulary: “Francesco´s
mother was a small grey woman with a mole on one cheek and a brushing
of black down upon her upper lip [...] slavonic eyes, [...] olive
skin, [...] jeweller´s fingers.” Likewise, he also uses very
descriptive language when describing rough moments making them
incredibly powerful: “ [...] in a haze of nostalgia and forgetfulness,
had found in front of him the titanic bulk of Carlo Guercio, had found
his wrists gripped painfully in those mighty fists [...] he stared
wonderingly into the mid...


... middle of paper ...


... expressed
outstandingly well in the book. “At least 4000 were massacred and
possibly 9000. Was it 28000 kilos of butchered human meat, or 648000?
Was it 18752 litres of bright young blood, or 42192?” this quote is
incredibly impressive. It does not only provide us factual
information, but also portrays the amount of insanity that takes place
at times of war. It not only shocks the reader the outstanding
figures, but the roughness and coldness in which Louis de Bernières
puts them forward.

In general, Louis de Bernières accomplished a great result with these
techniques. The powerful effect of irony, reality and humour expressed
in words, brings forward very effectively the effects of war. If the
objective of a good novel is to portray and transmit feelings and a
good story, Louis de Bernières has surely accomplished it with Captain
Corelli´s Mandolin.

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