Junger vs Graves Comparison

Junger vs Graves Comparison - Chris Kokkinis ENG 345 Junger...

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Chris Kokkinis ENG 345 Junger/ Graves Comparison October 24, 2006 On the twenty-eighth of June in 1914, the political assassination of the Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, Bosnia would set off a cataclysmic chain reaction that would pit seemingly-unconnected nations against each other. Due to a small number of arbitrary military alliances across Europe, more than ten nations across the globe were thrown into a war of unparalleled proportions over the course of four years. World War I would bring about more than nine million casualties among soldiers plus millions of civilians as well. The global military conflict would shape the borders of the present-day world as well as be a major cause for the outbreak of World War II. Although it is commonly criticized for its senselessness and for the unnecessarily excessive numbers of casualties, the so-called “War to End All Wars” did inspire some of the greatest literary artists of the twentieth century. Men of all ages, social classes, and professions joined the armed forces for many reasons, including intense feelings of nationalism and extreme social pressures. Many of theses men in both trenches were writers, whose works, in various forms, portrayed the war from their vantage point rather than the often-distorted propaganda that men and women saw on the home front. These trench writers included the British Robert Graves, author of Goodbye To All That and German Ernst Jünger, author of Storm of Steel . Born in Wimbledon and educated at Oxford University, Graves grew up in a completely different environment than Jünger, who ran away from his home in Hanover to join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa. Having such diverse early lives and fighting on opposite sides of No-
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Man’s Land, the two obviously had contrasting views of the war. However, Graves and Jünger can be said to have certain parallels in their writings, indicating that perhaps this war was not one fought between men of opposing nations, but one between man and the war “machine”.
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