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REALTIES OF WAR

Birdsong ­ Sebastian Faulks (1993)

No one in England knows what this is like. If they could see the way these men live they
would not believe their eyes. This is not a war, this is an exploration of how far men can
be degraded.

You see…

Page 2

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They had seen things no human eyes had looked on before, and they had not turned their
gaze away.

Description of guns:
Shaking down the dust of centuries from the rafters
Like a clearing of the throat
Ringing brass note
Like a sustained roll of timpani



A shameful flock around…

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He grew used to the sight and smell of torn human flesh.

Hunt's lungs pump and blow with the subs that shook his body ­ shows utter fear

Fluid leapt from his flesh like some victorious spirit that had possessed him.








Not So Quiet ­ Helen Zenna Smith (1930)
He…

Page 4

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We will not dance again, this Robin and I; it is so pitiful; he is twenty and I am
twenty-one, but he is so young...

Her soul died under a radiant silver moon in the spring of 1918 on the side of a
blood-spattered trench. Around her lay the mangled…

Page 5

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Carnage and Gore - The novel's main weapon against patriotic idealism is simply its
unrelenting portrayal of the carnage and gore that the war occasions. Every battle scene
(roughly every other chapter) features brutal violence and bloody descriptions of death and
injury. Hospital scenes portray men with grisly wounds that…

Page 6

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This book is intended neither as an accusation nor as confession but simply as an attempt
to give an account of a generation that was destroyed by the war ­ even those of it who
survived the shelling.

They were supposed to be the ones who would help us eighteen…

Page 7

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Patriotism meant...surrendering our individual personalities more completely than we
would have even thought possible.
Regeneration ­ Pat Barker (1991)

When Sassoon opposed the idea of closing him in Craiglockhart as it `'doesn't prove [him]
insane'' Graves reveals that he told the Board about his hallucinations ­ `'The corpses in
Piccadilly''…

Page 8

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One of the paradoxes of the war ­ one of the many ­ was that this most brutal of conflicts
should set up a relationship between officers and men that was...domestic.
Caring...maternal...The Great Adventure. They'd been mobilised into holes in the ground
so constricted they could hardly move...And the Great…

Page 9

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The Great Battle was a turning-point for me, and not merely because from then on I
thought it possible that we might actually lose the war. The incredible massing of forces
in the hour of destiny, to fight for a distant future, and the violence it so surprisingly,
stunningly unleashed,…

Page 10

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Strange Meeting ­ Susan Hill (1971)
No one knew, nobody understood.

There was not the natural camaraderie to be found among the officers as there was among
the men.

You cannot imagine how we crave for the small everyday things.

We are drones, not fighting men.

I have seen enough...The…

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