Generals die in bed sparknotes. An Analysis of Generals Die in Bed, a Novel by Charles Yale Harrison 2022-11-19
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Generals Die in Bed is a novel written by Charles Yale Harrison, a Canadian author who served as a soldier during World War I. The novel is a first-person narrative told by an unnamed protagonist, a young Canadian soldier who is sent to fight in the trenches of France during the war.
The novel is a stark and unflinching portrayal of the horrors of war, and the protagonist's experiences in the trenches are harsh and brutal. He witnesses the death and destruction of war firsthand, and the constant threat of death and injury weigh heavily on him and his fellow soldiers.
One of the main themes of the novel is the futility of war and the way in which it dehumanizes soldiers. The protagonist and his fellow soldiers are treated as nothing more than cannon fodder by their superiors, and they are sent into battle with little regard for their safety or well-being. The soldiers are given orders to follow without question, and they are expected to fight and die without complaint.
Another theme of the novel is the way in which the war affects the soldiers' sense of morality. The protagonist and his fellow soldiers are forced to do things that they would normally consider to be immoral or unethical, such as killing innocent civilians or looting the homes of the enemy. The soldiers are also subjected to constant propaganda, which is used to justify their actions and keep them motivated to fight.
Ultimately, Generals Die in Bed is a powerful and poignant novel that serves as a testament to the brutality and futility of war. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the horrors of war and the psychological toll it takes on soldiers.
Generals Die In Bed (Charles Harrison)
Fall flat on your belly, we had been told time and time again. Men are hauled out of their bunks and strapped into their equipment. A rumour has it that we are to go in the line in a few days. We do not speak. Could any of this be true, or were Currie and the others angry because the book is altogether false? The Generals give the orders and do not become involved in the savagery. Two more bottles are put before us. They don't have to beat him over the head to mow the lawn.
An Analysis of Generals Die in Bed, a Novel by Charles Yale Harrison
The familiar odour of warm sour wine strikes us. It is growing darker. He starts to tell us again of his last night with Martha: "The last night I slept between clean white sheets was with my wife. Furthermore, they become desensitized to pain and death. In an evangelical voice he cries: "Men, do you know you're sinning in the eyes of the Lord? This book was fucked.
One of many untrained Canadian infantrymen who enlists, this narrator, feels apprehensive. It is strangely quiet. Harrison portrays the brutal conditions of fighting and of waiting to fight, and how both can bring out the best and the worst in people. Better to sit here and drink the sour, hard wine and try to forget. The trees here are skeletons holding stubs of stark, shell-amputated arms towards the sky.
Melton Secondary College Year 12: Generals Die in Bed Characters
This is our fifth day in the front line, one more day and out we go back to rest. This is about a struggle for life. The stately poplars which line the road here are less scarred. My nose is bleeding from the force of the detonations. We are in the line--suddenly the enemy artillery begins to bombard us.
We have been warned that the enemy is but a few hundred yards off, so we speak in whispers. We haven't had a decent meal for months. Our bodies are cooling and the foul trench odours cease stirring. The morning rations come up. Six short days in a trench! Finally, the trauma of war might be best exemplified by Billy Pilgrim, who suffers from PTSD caused by World War II. Now that I've finished reading I can't be sure of anything. What brings history to life is first hand information, the event being told by the participant.
Its terror for us increases with each passing day. The sequences are disjointed, tossing you from rest to the trenches and back over and over with the narrator so much that it becomes a confusing mess. Cleary Cleary only plays a minor role within the novel. They stare vacantly into the faces of those who jostle them. We hear the explosions on another road to our left. We draw the cork of the bottle of cognac and take long swigs from it.
Suddenly, as quickly as it began, the bombardment stops. We now know every little detail of that honeymoon. Half a mile from our partly exposed trench, hidden in the hollow of a tree, sits a sniper holding an oiled, perfect rifle. Only a few lonely baggage men and porters move here and there. We look anxiously at the ceiling of the hole in which we sit. Perhaps Currie was enraged by the mention of the possibility that Canadian soldiers might murder their Germans POWs, rather than share their dismal rations? I recommend it for a quick read or to anyone interested in WWI. Generals Die in Bed is a moving account of the war.
Another crash directly over our heads! I look at the stars. We hear the buzzing and humming of nocturnal insects. They are stiff and their faces are white and set in the stillness of death. Up to 40 of the 100 troops were killed and the only comfort the General offers is a drink of rum. We begin to dig him out.
I lie flat on my belly, waiting. Out on rest we behaved like human beings; here we are merely soldiers. Not fictionalized in the Hollywood sense of selling a movie, but in the sense of removing inhibitions about telling the whole truth. The soaked earth here is nothing but a thin covering for the putrescence which lies underneath; it smells like a city garbage dump in mid-August. We will fall upon him and bayonet him like a hapless trench rat.