The Importance Of War In Kate Wilhelm's 'The Village'
The constant false advertising of war drove many accept war as a problem solving tool , disregarding peaceful negotiations. Consequently, many soldiers arrive into war with very little of what they are doing. Wilhelm shows this flawed notion as the soldiers “tied Janice Samuels to the porch rail of Gordon’s real-estate office, spread her legs open, and half a dozen men alternately raped and beat her,” (Wilhelm 6). The soldier’s new violent nature leads to overlook many actions like rape and murder as they try to execute their mission. Wilhelm shows that the tension and the need for constant survival results in the lack of morality from the soldiers. The environment of war, which offers constant surprises, deprives soldiers of any comfort, thus producing soldiers that make a habit of violence. Additionally, their new idiosyncrasies are a product of the constant propaganda from this violent culture that rewards death and praises victory has formed soldiers who prefer winning to saving lives. O’Brien shows the decadence of his soldiers in war through the actions of Rat as he “’went to automatic. ‘ He shot randomly, almost casually, quick little spurts in the belly and the butt, “ (O’Brien 75). The use of the term “automatic,” shows how Rat’s first impulse was violent. His unconscious decision to use violence demonstrates the cruelty that occurs when war is portrayed as a problem solver similar to Wilhelm’s rape in the above example. Additionally, the insanity these soldiers develop alters their definition of beauty, making them find beauty in war since they cope to their new environment. Clarke supports Wilhelm by arguing The Village represents the very nature of American imperialism as it shows the notion of bringing change through the use violence. Clarke states “In one of the most scathing passages, the story suggest that waste and