An Analysis Of Ordinary Courage By Joseph Plumb Martin

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Ordinary Courage by Joseph Plumb Martin tells of one of the little-known perspectives of the American revolution: the soldiers who fought during the war. Within his recount, Martin describes his encounters with the British, and how it lead to a moment of bonding between the opposite sides. However, these moment of bonding were illusive in the greater scheme of the war. Martin continues his narrative by the bonding relationship that the war caused between him and his fellow troops and the devastation that occurred through the loss of one of them. Martin’s recounts of his experiences were provided years after the war took place, giving him time to forget the seriousness of the events that took place. This lag of time however, allowed to see how …show more content…
However, the formation of these relationships led to the heartbreak of losing some of the military members, a concept of history often glazed upon when discussing major battles. Often describing the troops as ‘poor’ (Poor soldiers, poor young man, etc.) Martin sympathized with his fellow troops and the experiences that they had, as he was also put through many of the same coniditions. Within his story, Martin describes the death of one his roommates near the end of the war and how the man died a very un-patriotic death due to a self-inflected injury. “… who had braved the hardships and perils of the war til the very close of it, ‘died as a fool dieth …’” (169) The death of this man was the basic equivalent of losing a close family member. After fighting a war with an individual and being there through their hardships it was a saddening experience for Martin to see the young man pass away like that. This theme of family ties reappears within when the Martin describes one of his captains? Which many individuals of his squadron did not approve of and were planning a prank with the potential damage. I saved the old man’s life, although I do not think that they meant anything more than to frighten him.” (167) After seeing the death of so many of his fellow comrades, Martin was set on preventing the death or injury of another one of his colleagues if possible. Since Martin …show more content…
This lag of time may have lead downplay some of his recollections of the events that occurred during the war. However, the gap of time also allowed Martin to put his perspective of the war into a greater historical context allowing him to place him to critique a common misconception at the time. As Martin describes his time with the military he casually mentions the moments when he was hungry or cold as if it became an expected part of his life as a soldier. “…but that faithful companion, hunger, tuck as close to us as ever... The soldiers were well acquainted with him [hunger] during the whole period of the Revolutionary War.” (117-118) Although Martin describes it a manner-of-fact, as if he wasn’t in dire need within each stage of hunger, the starvation that he experienced nearly caused his death quite a few times. If asked out about the outcomes of starvation within the war, younger Martin may have had a sharper take on how the starvation directly correlated to their performance in battle. Martins recollection of the army also changed as time passed. While fighting the army as a young man he only saw how the war was fought from his perspective, and how his troops directly impacted the war. Since he is know an older age and can see how individuals reflect upon the war, some saying that his troops were unnecessary, some bitterness and anger may have been sparked by Martin.

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