At the beginning of his novel he begins with a description of the “Smoky second lass carriage” including five people sitting in it and begins to describe the bulky woman and her husband. The author soon transforms and develops his description of the characters by incorporating direct dialogue. A dialogue is a form of communication and conversation between individuals. This allows the reader to understand what is truly going on and eliminates the bias view of the author and incorporates experiences and ideas from several individuals.
Moreover, Paralleled has included so much conversation in order to bring about the different perceptions of individuals. Secondly, conversation is incorporated n order for the readers to know background information and experiences of every character. As well as, allowing one to realize the emotions of each character within the novel as each one has spoken in a different tone and mood. For example, the husband muttered the words “Nasty world” expressing his angry mood of his son’s death. In contrast, another man begins to repeat the word “Nonsense” emphasizing his own perception of his son’s sacrifices as he was happy that he died a hero.
Hence, conversation and dialogue were incorporated so that readers understand each of the characters perception and standpoint. It acts as support to the description of each character within the novel. In addition, if Paralleled was to continue his novel without dialogue and only include description this will limit the audience’s knowledge of each of the characters. For instance, Paralleled describes the “fat red faced man” being “the palest of grey” which shows the audience the depiction of his appearance.
However, if there was no dialogue to be followed after this description, the reader will not know the stance and point of view of this character. The description is followed by the characters patriotic comment ‘You are right. Our children do not belong to us, they belong to the country”. Hence, the description of the character alone is not enough for the reader to understand the complete content of the novel. However, when followed by dialogue this allows one to comprehend and compare different perceptions of the characters and standpoints and tells us that this man is a patriot.
Question 2 Describe the thoughts about death expressed by the “fat, red faced man with blood shot eyes”. How does this man seem to be defending the need for battlefield deaths? How do his true thoughts emerge in the story? How does he seem to be contradictory? Initially, the thoughts about death expressed by the “fat, red faced man with blood shot eyes” is about dying with pride and becoming a hero. He believes that when a person dies for the sake of ‘The Country” he will die ‘Young and happy”. He states that those who die are lucky because they don’t have to experience the “Ugly side of life”.
He tells everyone that they should “Laugh”. His son sent him a message before dying stating that he ended his life in the best way. Therefore, the man’s thoughts about death are seen as a positive achievement and a patriotic movement for his son. He does not wear running as he believes that he should not be sad of what his son has achieved. This comes to show that his perception of death varies among others whereby the woman is described as growling like a wild animal and pulling up her collar to hide her face from her emotions showing that she mourns death.
However, he is described and perceived to act in the opposite way although both individuals share the same incident. Moreover, the man seems to be defending the need for battlefield deaths. He believes that if an individual dies being a hero then this death must be celebrated where all people should “Laugh” and be happy. He supports battlefield deaths as he states ‘You are right. Our children do not belong to us, they belong to the Country’. The capitalization of the word Country emphasizes the importance and patriotism the man has towards his Country.
This implies that he wishes to die for his country just like his son was able to do so. He describes the love of his country being “stronger” than the love for his children and that he would gladly take his sons place at the front if he could. This further emphasizes the father’s importance of battlefield deaths where it is more important than his own offspring. He uses the simile to compare the country like bread portraying it as a natural necessity in which an individual cannot live without. Hence, someone must go defend it and save it.
This further implements the idea of his support of battlefield death. His true thoughts soon emerge when the author describes the man as ending his conversation with a “shrill laugh which might well have been a sob”. This implies that he may have been trying to cover up his weakness and to convince himself that his son died a hero and that he should not mourn his death. Hence, this description shows the reader that his physical appearance shows happiness but his inner soul is sad. Soon, his inner feelings are revealed and this is triggered by the woman’s question “Then.. S your son really dead”? The man couldn’t answer the question and he soon realized that his son is really dead and faced the reality of it. He became “horribly distorted” and broke into “uncontrollable sobs”. Therefore, the reader can see that the man was trying to hide his emotions and that he was contradicting his thoughts. The man was trying to convince those around him that they should e happy and not fret about the death of their sons. However, he soon realized that his son is gone, he is no longer alive and that he begins to acknowledge the death of his offspring.
This action shows his contradictory thoughts and initial description of his appearance being a facet. Question 3 What do you think is the story major idea, as it develops in the discussion by the passengers? Why does Paralleled choose the man who seems least appealing as the one to whom the ultimate sacrifice has happened? Personally, it is believed that the story major idea is about “The consequences of losing one’s son for the country’. At the beginning of the story, it describes the parent’s situation of mourning and deep sorrow.
It puts the readers in a state where all the characters are in one place, moving in the same direction within the train and experiencing the same reason for their grief. Each character is described differently as well as their perceptions of grief portrayed in contrasting ways. For instance one individual states “You should thank god that your son is only leaving now for the front. Mine has been sent there from first day”. Whereas another individual states “What about me? I have two sons and nephews at the front”.
This comes to show that every person is telling their experience and is trying to make others feel that ‘your’ situation is still better than ‘mine’. But, in reality, they are all mourning in deep sorrow and suffering the awful consequences of sending their boys to war. Hence, this idea slowly develops in the discussion by the passengers in order to depict the different feelings and emotions of each individual from the grave consequences. Moreover, Paralleled chooses the least appealing man as the one to whom the ultimate sacrifice has happened for a ajar purpose.
The father whose son is dead is made to seem unappealing at first because he initially is the spokesperson for an unappealing view of warfare and of the need for deaths during a time of war. In effect, he is seemingly the least worthy of the characters on the train, and the most “brainwashed. ” But at the story end, once the question about the reality of death is posed for him, he changes, and the final stress in “War” is upon his personal grief and the irreparable loss that he has suffered. Hence, the fat man enters the railroad car with purpose and intent.
He understands the guiding structure and moral order that helps to fully help bring meaning into his own sense of existence. This transcendent vision is something that he is able to articulate to the indecision and doubt that permeates the car. When he is done, one actually is able to embrace the fat man’s vision of totality. It is at this moment where we see a quick and sudden role reversal, as the woman asks her question and the man’s response is one of inconsolable grief. In the end, the roles that opened the story are inverted at the story’s end, only fragmentation and disorder being the sole instants. This is why he had been chosen towards the ultimate sacrifice. Question 4 In paragraph 28, why does the woman who is “Bundled in a corner under her coat” ask the simple question of the fat man? Why is it she who asks the question and not one of the other passengers? It is the woman who asks the question due to the amount of grief and sorrow she has towards the idea of losing her son. She was silent throughout the entire novel however she wanted to wake the man up to reality and make him realize what every other individual is experiencing and it is not as easy as he thinks.
She is deeply saddened and wants the man to also feel that the absence of his son is a consequence of being a patriot to the country. It is she who asks the question to the man because the words that he uttered amazed and stunned her. She realizes that it wasn’t the others who were wrong and couldn’t understand her but she couldn’t lift up to the same level of those parents willing to resign themselves and show no sign of grief to the departure of their sons. This is why it was she who questioned the man and no other individual who were rather congratulating that “brave father”.
The woman who has been holding herself away from the other passengers becomes the one to raise the vital question with the heavyset passenger. A possible answer is that she really does not consider the abstract issue of war, but is genuinely concerned only about the inevitable loss of actual life. When she raises her question, therefore, she does so out of her realization about war and death. There are no abstract questions about love for the fatherland for her, or for the need of sacrifice. All she is concerned with is the straightforward truth that war kills people.