"Generals Die in Bed" by Charles Harrison - While many of the girls are portrayed as a tease for the vulnerable soldiers, there is still a warm, affectionate image shown by the author

Essay by lucas_bHigh School, 12th gradeA-, April 2006

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In today's media-engulfed world, it seems that if a company wishes to make any sort of profit, it needs to advertise half-naked women before its customers will become even remotely interested in the product. One can see it in music videos as well. Turn on Much Music and there's a good chance you'll be overwhelmed by a rap video featuring a number of scantily clad women dancing around men with expensive jewelry and cars. One has to ask themselves then, how in the world did this portrayal of women ever get like this? Why has our media demeaned women to such an extent? In the novel, "Generals Die in Bed" by Charles Yale Harrison, the way women are portrayed is sort of like the aforementioned image. They act as tease toward the soldiers. However, the image of a nurturing, concerned companion is given to many women in the novel.

In this book about the First World War, the soldiers visit brothels before they depart for war. These prostitutes treat the soldiers wonderfully before they have to leave and experience the horrors of war. Often, the soldiers leave in sadness, wishing that they did not have to go to war and that they could stay with the women. In the novel, as the soldiers leave, the girls can be heard screaming, "Good-by and good luck, boy-y-y-y s" (9). As you read on, the feelings of the narrator are expressed. He is overwhelmed with feelings of loneliness and regret that he is participating in the war, as he simply states, "I feel lonely. I do not want to go to war" (9). Obviously, there is a strong physical and sexual attraction that the soldiers feel. The girls tease them by running along side them, the scent of perfume wafting...