The effects military has had on literature (with annotations)

Essay by wraithofwrathJunior High, 9th gradeA+, April 2004

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Over time, military has had a substantial effect on the content of literature. It has affected contemporary literature in the past, such as Shakespeare, as well as modern literature today, such as John Keegan. On the subject of war, United States president John Fitzgerald Kennedy once said, "Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind."1 Although President Kennedy was not involved in military combat, personal military accounts have greatly contributed to military-based works of writing. In addition, countless wars in the past have contributed a seemingly endless variety of choices for authors to write about. Also, living in the military has shaped a wide range of war and military-based novels.

Survivors of past wars who have composed personal military accounts have immensely affected copious selections of war-account-based books. For instance, George Wilson wrote a book called If You Survive, which was based on his experience as a company grade officer involved in the invasion of France during World War II.

The book was very detailed, and provided an accurate account from the invasion at Utah Beach to the liberation of Paris. "I'm sure much of the horrible results of that battle had been cleared away, and all the dead and wounded were gone. Still, the terrible scars of war seemed to shout at us. Burned-out vehicles, sunken landing craft, ships, tanks, guns, pillboxes lay quiet and still. It hardly seemed possible anyone could have survived . . ."2 A more publicly recognized author is Studs Terkel, who wrote The Good War. This book is a vast collection of personal accounts taken by interviewing countless soldiers, from infantrymen to field grade officers, as well as ordinary citizens in countries such as Ukraine (living as a citizen during the war), Japan (living in post-atomic-bomb Hiroshima),