Goodbye to All That Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of creative writing at several colleges in Illinois. In this essay, he looks at Good-Bye to All That as a satire of warfare and British formality.

We all know that there is nothing funny about war and that death brings nothing but sorrow, especially when it comes to young men who are struggling to make the world a better place. On the other hand, even though we know this so well, there is no denying that the world has a rich tradition of war comedies. Robert Graves' autobiography, Good-Bye to All That, falls into this comedy tradition, although contemporary readers never seem to get the joke.

Comedy works best when it has some serious-minded opposition trying to suppress it. Background circumstances dictate how much an act can make people chuckle: the coarsest group of oil-riggers would turn away embarrassed when one of their group tries making...

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This section contains 1,557 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Goodbye to All That Study Guide
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Goodbye to All That from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.