Analysis, Testament Of Youth By Vera Brittain

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Vera Brittain, in her memoir, Testament of Youth, analyzes and describes her experiences being a young lady during the First World War. Her memoir consists of clips of letters, from her brother (Edward) and her fiancé (Roland), and clips of her journal in order to better understand her thoughts and feelings concerning both the war and her personal life. Brittain’s purpose is to try to unravel all the feelings she has, while trying to understand them, because, at the time, it was difficult for young men and women to have time to process their feelings, or express them. Brittain’s tone varies from factual to sentimental to reminiscent in order to appeal to the reader. Brittain’s writing style and use of clips of her journal and letters she saved …show more content…
She uses snippets of what she wrote in her journal and letters that her fiancé and brother wrote to her, to validate what she went through, to be able to connect with this specific audience. When using these as part of her memoir, Brittain makes it more personal for her readers. For instance, Brittain often writes of her fiancé, Roland, and includes these sentimental exchanges through letters in her memoir. Roland passionately expresses to her through a letter after having to leave her at the train, “I could not look back…I should have cried if I had…I don’t know what I want to do and don’t care for anything except to get you back again…” (Brittain 191). Many young women during the war probably received similar letters from their beloveds, which again demonstrates the appeal to these young, British women …show more content…
Throughout the book, Brittain describes the brutal conditions of the war and the physical and mental changes of both those fighting at war and those on the sidelines. Brittain sadly writes in a letter to Roland, “It all seems such a waste of Youth, such a desiccation of all that is born for Poetry and Beauty” (225). Her unsubtle expressions in her letters show that she is not a great supporter of war—she only became a nurse to become closer to her brother and fiancé, and because she felt the need to help. Within her letters and journal entries, it becomes more and more clear what Brittain’s overall message really

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