An American Soldier In World War 1 Summary

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In the novel, An American Soldier in World War I the author, David L. Snead seeks to provide the reader with an accurate account of the first war through one of possibly the last remaining written letter of a soldier. Through the novel the reader is able to gain insight on the condition of training and preparation, combat, and a soldiers relationship with those he has had to leave. The way in which the author depicts each of these experiences truly draws the reader in and has them rooting for Brownie, whom which is the main character.
Throughout the novel the author does his best to set the surrounding or condition of the area that the soldiers occupy. From early on it is known to the reader that the United States was at a shortage for many
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Snead elegantly provides just enough information about the gruesomeness of combat to paint a picture of war but not so much as to turn the reader away. Throughout the fighting the reader follows one character, Brownie and thus follow the 117th regiment. As time passes the intensity of combat increases. In the beginning Brownie and his fellow engineers started training in the quit sector where they gained a much-needed taste of trench warfare. In these sectors, the most that happened, was a “ sniper might turn a few loose over your way.”(67) Hence how the sector achieved its name. As the 117th regiment and the 42nd was able to control each front they were placed at they began to be placed in charge of larger fronts and subsequently the intensity of their battles began to rise. There was the introduction of gas attacks whose effects,” were everywhere apparent. Everything was dead…. Messenger pigeons lay in their baskets; rats, swollen and distended, were stretched out in the trenches and dugouts…. The whole area looked as if it had been visited by a killing frost.”(75) These attacks were some of the soldiers most feared at night, hearing the alarm sound and not knowing whether the attack was real or a false alarm. From the point of view of a reader, it seems that everyone at one point or another was affected by gas whether it be one know as sneezing gas or something more harmful such as chlorine gas. …show more content…
This touch of personality is what brings this novel together without it the reader would have immense trouble being able to place themselves, or find a connection with the story line. Through each letter of Brownie’s to Marty the reader gain an insight of accounts happening that may have never been documented in any other way. Through his letters you begin to see the emotional wear and tear that a war takes on men, the narrator or the knowledge placed in-between the letter only supplies the reader with a physical or outward appearance of the war. In one of his letters Brownie states, “ it makes a guy feel the usefulness of war when he sees men shot up and killed.” (100) This exemplifies that while these men physically and even to a point mentally stood behind the war and the united states there comes a breaking point where one cannot suppress the horrors that they’ve seen. I a letter early on Brownie and some of his comrade “were considering whether we should desert or not just to see our sweet-heart.”(32) Not even having left the states yet he was already missing Marty enough and that continued to wear on him throughout the war but also gave him something to hope for as well did it the

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