Thesis Essay Examples On War

A thesis might be made posing Gene's internal conflict as a metaphorical battle between the impulse to remain a child (and follow Finny) and the impulse to plunge into adulthood (following Brinker). 

The opposing forces in this metaphor can be examined in an essay looking at Finny's relationship to innocence and childhood, as well as his false denial of the reality of the war in Europe. Brinker's persona and his eagerness to act responsibly can also be examined. 

Early in the novel, when Finny is the leader of the boys, Gene declares:

"I think we reminded them of what peace was like, we boys of sixteen. We registered with no draft board, we had taken no physical examinations." 

This statement and similar ideas are repeatedly attached to Finny, while an opposite set of attributes becomes associated with Brinker. 

The war, as it exists for Gene, is represented by these two figures.

And, for Gene, Finny, Brinker and the rest of the boys at Devon, the war is a personal war. The peace that Gene finally realizes is therefore also a personal peace. Focusing on Gene's internal conflict works on at least two levels for an essay. 

His internal conflict is a war, in and of itself. Dueling impulses battle for dominance as Gene decides if he wants to follow Finny's path and hold himself off from the war and from adulthood, or if he wants to rush into responsibility and enlist as Brinker recommends.

Gene's internal conflict also has a metaphorical relationship to the war. In a way, we might argue that Gene's turmoil and internal struggles function as a type of psychlogical displacement.

The war in Europe is translated to Gene's speculations and symbolically is represented in his internal conflict. Seen in this way, the war in Gene to choose between Finny and Brinker is a direct metaphor for the inevitable future physical life-and-death battle that awaits him in Europe. Only here, at Devon, the war takes the shape of a conflict between childhood and adulthood.

This internal conflict would not carry the poignancy it does were there no war waiting to pull the boys of Devon in. Under different circumstances, a boy like Gene would have more time to come into his own sense of self.  

In the end, Gene realizes that the war going on inside him is unnecessary. He does not have to choose to follow either Finny or Brinker. He can choose his own path. He had been wrong about his options. What he thought he knew had led him to turmoil. His epiphany, in the end, brings him the peace of a new and significant piece of information. He has the option to be himself. Until Finny dies, Gene remains unaware of this possibility.

The conflict in his heart is given analogy in his thoughts on the war, when he thinks:

"that wars were not made by generations and their special stupidities, but that wars were made instead by something ignorant in the human heart."

Running Header: Was world war 2 a “good war”?

Shilpa Mudiganti


World War II is widely known as the last “Good War” especially by United States of America. This statement gained more acceptances with the onset of wars like Vietnam and Korea which proved very unpopular to the American public. But was World War II truly a “Good War”? The second world war had always been considered to be a fight against Nazism and Fascism which represented the unimaginable evils. More than 70 million lives were lost fighting for the cause including the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombing which resulted in the nuclear arms race. Though the evil forces of Nazism were defeated, a sobering account of atrocities caused by the allied forces and the unpleasant after-effects proves the opposite and renders the theory of “Good War” invalid.

World War II was the last major war that involved the most powerful nations of the world. These nations dominated and ruled the world and were also called “Great Powers”[1]. On one side, were the “good” forces called Allies, viz., United States of America, Great Britain and Soviet Union and on the other side were the enemy called “Axis”, Viz., Germany, Italy and Japan. The war estimated a death toll of 50 million to 70 million[2] making it the history’s deadliest war and far more casualties were reported in the Allies camp than the Axis powers. Though the Nazi and Fascist powers were defeated for good, did this war produce any other positive outcome? The answer is a sobering no.

The first cries of “Good War” had emanated from the opponents of Vietnam war who justified their opposition to the unprovoked war on Asian internal affairs by comparing it with the “goodness” of purpose of world war II. World War II was a war that opposed the domination of fascism and Nazism that is best known for the concentration camps and genocide committed. However, the “good” war has the record of many not-so-good details which gave a very devastating aftermath.

Paul Fussel, in his book Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War, in 1989 , said even those who fought the war "knew that in its representation to the laity what was happening to them was systematically sanitized and Norman Rockwellized, not to mention Disneyfied America has not yet understood what the Second World War was like and has thus been unable to use such understanding to reinterpret and redefine the national reality and to arrive at something like public maturity." The Second World War has been glamorized by movies like “Casablanca”, “Mrs. Miniver” and has displayed the atrocities performed by the enemy camp which were bravely fought by the allied forces but failed to highlight the equal amount of barbaric actions performed by the allied forces. For example, the World War II brought in the air attacks that killed people without discrimination and resulted in the murder of millions of innocents and rendered an equal number homeless. "Of the material costs [of the war], the largest by all odds came from that most appalling innovation in ruthless destruction, air bombardment — especially area raids which were indiscriminate in that no specific target was aimed at. The assault on dwellings ranks as one of the great horrors of the way.... Terror and obliteration air raids were considered successful almost in proportion to the number of people who lost their homes.” the historian C. Hartley Grattan had written in 1949.


[1] Hartmann, Frederick H. The relations of nations, pg. 312

[2]Second Source List and Detailed Death Tolls for the Twentieth Century Hemoclysm [121]


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