Bullets whizzing and bomb shells flying, an occurrence often thought of as the only negative effect of war and as only happening to soldiers, a simply counterfactual statement. The effects of war are seen throughout the novels A Separate Peace by John Knowles and Lord of the Flies by William Golding, two books written about wars by men who were involved in war. Knowles went to school during World War II and then joined the Royal Air Force for eight months. Golding joined the Royal Navy in 1940 and fought a variety of battles for seven years. War has an impact on civilians as much it has an impact on the soldiers in the war physically, emotionally, and morally.
Physical effects on civilians as well as soldiers are a large part of wars. Soldiers are constantly injured in war because they enlist to go engage in battle with the enemy and they are meeting each other with lethal force trying to kill one another. This excerpt from a New York Times article shows some of the death in war, saying, “By Friday, the Defense Department said, 1,994 had been wounded in action, with 342 more injured. The dead totaled 399, with 272 from hostile action. At least 18 more soldiers were killed and five wounded in Iraq yesterday” (Banerjee 2003). As can be seen by these large numbers of dead and wounded, soldiers die a lot. This fact is often understood; however, the amount of civilian casualties in war is often not understood. Soldiers are not the only ones involved in
the physical aspects of war; civilians are injured and killed too. There are several instances of civilian death that have happened in the past as well as instances that are still occurring today, in fact, it has become a large military strategy to kill civilians. Statistics say, “More than 92,600 civilians were killed in armed violence in Iraq from 2003 to 2008, and U.S.-led coalition forces showed higher rates of indiscriminate killing of women and children than insurgents, a study has found” (Kelland 2011). These statistics tell that many civilians are killed in war and are even killed more than soldiers are killed, according to the mentioned study. Because it has become such a big military strategy to bomb civilians, civilians are also often physically injured in war. There are many examples of the physical effects of war in Lord of the Flies and A Separate Peace. In Lord of the Flies, some of the characters involved in war on the island die. When Ralph goes to confront Jack, Piggy dies. A rock falls, hits him, and sends him flying through the air to land on a rock forty feet down and have his body washed away by the sea when Piggy is on the cliffs (Golding 181). This shows a casualty while Ralph is trying to come to peaceful agreements during a time of war between his people and Jacks people. In A Separate Peace, Finny’s death in chapter twelve demonstrates a symbolic example of death in war. Neither Gene nor Finny are in the war, but Finny’s death shows the tragedies of death...