Analysis Of Men And War

2785 words - 11 pages

Men and War


     Throughout history, men have constantly been at war with something. Whether that something was nature, other men, or a supernatural force, men have historically loved battle. War stories have always been a way for authors to express their concerns about issues in society. Through these stories, authors depict honor not seen in real life, problems that face the world now, and closure so often exempt from our world. There are defined enemies, a clear line drawn between good and bad, and we may be powerful and violent for the sake of righteous ideas. "The war story is a way to exemplify good angels and bad, to exercise our fears, and find some comfort in the inevitable triumph of right over wrong," ( There are three main areas that come to mind under the heading "Men as they are portrayed in war". These topics are: typical attire, enemies, and weapons. We will be comparing and contrasting the four issues as they have been presented to us in science fiction, and also how they have been portrayed throughout history.


     The typical battle attire of a present-day US soldier consists of a camouflaged jacket and pants. Throughout history, these uniforms have ranged from the blue and gray of the Civil War to the green camouflage we see today. When contrasting these with the typical military uniforms seen in science fiction, there is a distinct difference noted. According to the Babes in Space Gallery, men who are soldiers, or warriors, wear uniforms that seem to almost travel back in time. A few science fiction magazine covers that have been looked at in class show men wearing nothing but briefs and capes. Sometimes, men are seen wearing shirts, usually with no sleeves, so that we might notice their bulging muscles, and legs. Most often, men are seen with some type of belt on that indicates that they have special powers, which brings to mind images of Batman and Robin. In the short story Ender's' Game, we also see the boys wearing color-coded uniforms. Women's attire in wartime is a more difficult area to cover. Historically speaking, women in the military were usually considered nurses ( They were not even considered for active duty until the 1940's. The usual attire for a female nurse during the Civil War was any type of house dress she might own. Color didn't usually play a role, although dark colors were favored, since the blood didn't show as much (Chesnut). During World War I and II, nurses were issued uniforms. Although women were considered to be on equal footing with men for positions within the military, this was not especially noted when it came to magazine covers in the fifties. Women, too, seemed to lack clothing on magazine covers. Today in science fiction, thanks to the efforts of authors such as Joanna Russ and Octavia Butler, women are portrayed in a more positive, take-charge manner....

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