The Pyschological Results Of War, Using "Catch 22 By" Joseph Heller, And "The Red Badge Of Courage" By Stephen Crane As Examples From Literature

2211 words - 9 pages

In the course of human events there have been countless instances of conflict between people. Everything from fighting brothers, combating nations or in some cases a nation divided against itself. These conflicts often result in armed combat, battles on fields of grass, the streets of a city, or desert sand. For countless generations young men and now young women have taken to arms and put their lives on the line for the problems of their governments, or lack thereof. These soldiers have risked life, limb, and even their sanity in battle. War affects everything it touches. Whether it is the blood soaked land, the destroyed buildings, the dead men and women, or the living ones, war is a ...view middle of the document...

In times of peace rigorous lengths of training time can prepare soldiers for what they must go through in battle; however, unfortunately during times of war cadets only receive the minimum amount of training needed in order to send them off as quickly as possible. Thus some of these soldiers are not as well prepared for what they may face, and haven't completely adjusted to their time in the military before going off to war. The mental breakdown of soldiers is often associated with the contrast of their instincts to survive, and their duty to accomplish the mission. Along those lines wars in modern times are often fought in countries alien to our soldiers, and climates that are just as different. This adds to their stress by causing them to cope with new surroundings at the same time as they fight.There have been many books regarding the actions of characters in war settings.Some of those include Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, and The Red Badge of Courage by Stephan Crane. The main characters, John Yossarian of Catch-22 and Henry Fleming of The Red Badge of Courage, undergo large amounts of stress and psychological trauma in the wars they are in. The fighting itself brought on the trauma they endured. Neither one of them wanted to die, and they knew that there were other people out there who wanted to kill them. Yossarian was a navigator/bombardier on a United States B-24 on a fictional island south of Italy in World War II. Henry was a young infantry soldier from New York State, in the Civil War. Henry was under tremendous pressure; his friends were talking about how they would act when they first went into battle. They all talked about how many kills they would have, and how brave they would be. The soldiers all sat around camp for many days before their first battle, and it just made Henry even more nervous. He was worried that he would turn and run when he first saw the "beast". He was doing well in the battle at first, but then his fears began to take over, and when he saw two other men drop their guns and run, he did the same. He was in such a broken down state that the suggestion of getting out of it was offered by the men fleeing. Yossarian also underwent troubles. The men in Yossarian's unit exhibit many signs of what war can do to a person. Everyone in the unit has shown signs of being affected by the war. The men make up fake illnesses and try to get put into the hospital, where they don't have to fly more missions where they can be killed. The soldiers try to amuse themselves or to take away the thought of war by doing what Yossarian considered odd things. For example, a pilot, McWatt, buzzing (flying close to the ground at high speed) the tents and the camp, especially Yossarian's tent. While in the hospital, they have to censor letters, Yossarian and his friends often signed fake names to them, or blackened out words that didn't need to be, like all articles, contractions, or words that start with S. The camp's mess officer runs a...

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