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The Horror of War

            The horrors of war affect different people in many different ways. This is shown in my texts; Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, Full Metal Jacket directed by Stanley Kubrick, Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen and All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. We see that the horror of war is not only present during the battle; it remains forever with those who survive. While all the texts show that the horror of war is overwhelming there is some suggestion that out of it emerges some hope.
             How the horror of war affects men.
             In Birdsong Stephen Wraysford the central character reacts to the horror of war unusually. Stephen does not react like other men. He bottles everything up and this affects both his body and mind. “His body and mind were tired and beyond repair but nothing could check the low exultation of his soul.” The horrors of war had destroyed Stephen’s mind. Some of the things that Stephen had seen were unimaginable. One incident that shocked Stephen was of a young who had not put his gas mask on and had inhaled some deadly mustard gas. “He lay motion-less trailing his raw skin. His infected lungs began to burble and froth with yellow fluid that choked his words of protest…”.
             These incidents affect Stephen and many others after the war. Most men died at an early age and many never spoke about what happened in the war. It was like it never happened. Elizabeth’s mother describes this; “He didn’t speak for two years after the war”. “What, not a word?” “No, not a word.” .
             Paul Baumer, the main character from All Quiet on the Western Front, does not react to the horrors of war like Stephen. Paul Baumer was a sensitive, compassionate young man and this quality added impact to the novel because it strengthened the idea that these young men had no enemies: they were fighting someone else’s war.