I have read a short story called The Sniper. It is a story about two brothers tried to kill each other without knowing the identities because of a civil war in Ireland. The story has an irony ending that they tried to kill each other desperately, but the one they were trying to kill is their blood brother. Similarly, Paul tried to save his enemy after he has stabbed a sword into the one’s body. The only thing they know is that they were fighting and killing their enemies for the peaceful life. They didn’t even know each other and they has done nothing wrong. Paul was upset when he saw the man’s photo of his family. People were suffering from the war. No one wants the war. “‘ A mountain in Germany cannot offend a mountain in France. Or a river, or a wood, or a field of wheat.’” (Pg 175) Who are they fighting for? Why are they fighting? Soldiers were fighting for themselves, their comrades, and their families. People who have never been to the front would not know the horror of the war. They could be friends if there was no war. The only reason to cause the war is to gain benefits for those people at the top. Both of the stories tell that there is actually no winner. In The Sniper, one person killed his brother. He won, but once he killed his brother, he lost. Likewise, France won in WWI; whereas, they had received so many sadness. The horror of the war threats everybody. The nationalistic elders in the novel pushed the youth into the war. Most of young soldiers joined the war after they graduated from school. The teacher didn’t tell them the truth, and the youth have never thought about how awful the war was. The teacher was expressing an idea that people who don’t volunteer for the war were coward. Young soldiers were giving their young lives away for benefiting those upper class politicians.
World War I:
Germany was one of the Central Powers in the World War I who lost the war. Erich volunteered for the war in 1916. In that year, there were two great battles on the Western front, at Verdun and Somme. There were 280,000 German casualties, and 315,000 French in Verdun. At Somme, there were over 400,000 German casualties, against 600,000 Allied casualties. German morale began a permanent decline and the strategic initiative was lost. The huge number of people died. The winning side would enjoy the happiness, but the war had costed so much money, food, and human lives. On the other hand, the losing side would mire in sadness, and pain. Both of their motherland were badly wounded. War brings death and famine. In the novel, the Germany soldiers had a hard time to find food. They have to eat wood chips or straw in order to satisfy their hunger. If there was no war, they could be alive, have enough food to eat, live with their family, and make their dreams come true. However, these were all destroyed by the war. Erich joined WWI when he was only 18 years old. He saw many people were dead, killed. And he had to kill his
enemies in order...