Paul Fussel’s article essay

Paul Fussel’s article outlines the significant trends and changes happening within literature during the war. The chapter provides an analysis of these developments and what were the primary reasons for these. In here, it can be sent that Fusel provided concrete examples that were manifested in prevalent writers during the period. Similarly, it seeks to signify the common themes that became part for the evolution and growth of these literary works.

One significant example of these situations revolves around the idea of transforming the relevance of war via the use of new literary techniques and choice of words that highlight its depth and ambiguity amidst the current conditions of the present environment. In here, the imagery generated then becomes an avenue for analyzing the outcome and situations of war – devastating and destructive. “The full exaggerated imagery of battlefield confrontation has been found indispensable by later generation which likes to think of itself as highly politicized, especially when question of literature comes into question” (Fussel, 2000, p.

108). At the same time, there are also significant elements distinct during the Great War period that Fussel tries to address and elaborate. On one aspect, the development of the war as a sign of brutality and hardships became prevalent in major literary works. On the other hand, there are also situations that sought to understand the concept of war itself and how it becomes manifested to an individual, groups, society and the world (Fussel, 2000). Lastly, the document also outlines how the concept of enemy has been personified in the concept of war and devastation.

In here, many major literary writers provided different symbols that sough to generate understanding of how it has evolved through the years and how it has changed its ideas depending on different factors such as preference, purpose, and significance. It is through such analogy that Fussel was able to make distinction and analysis of how this term is viewed and comprehended by readers. Reflecting on the concept of enemy portrayed in the story, it can be argued that the conflict and hurdle here revolves around the inner conflict of man – his struggle to fight and ward off irrationality and violence.

Amidst the stability within the group, it is also this inner battle that continues to test the ability of an individual to become resilient and adaptive. Such theme is one aspect that war and the concept of ‘enemy’ can be deciphered. This modern and philosophical idea of the enemy provides a new way of interpreting how war can transcend to the inner workings of man. This story is just one of the many instances of the struggle toward sanity in the situation of conflict. This modern idea of coping and struggling to remain rational in thoughts and actions is one way that can introduce diversification of the concept.

Likewise, this idea brings about the necessary parameters wherein the view can be contemplated and pondered on. Applying the idea of enemies provided by Tim O’Brien, it can be seen that there are several relevant ideas that can be linked with Fussel’s article. In here, O’Brien was able to make a favorable classification and distinction about the impact of conflict and war. Since the overall scene is situated during the tensioned Vietnam War, tit showcased how war can happen even within the boundaries of friends and allies.

This then results for some to have difficulty comprehending and deciding rationally over simple and complex issues. In its literary sense, this work of O’Brien clearly identifies the parameters of how war can transcend in the individual level. It highlights how violence can transcend over an environment of stability and uniformed goals and ideals. It is through this process that O’Brien was able to link his work with what Fussel mentions considering the viability of such actions.


Fussel, P. (2000) Adversary Proceedings in The Great War and Modern Memory. (UK; Oxford University Press) Retrieved July 13, 2009. 75-114