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Dalton Trumbo Writing Styles in Johnny Got His Gun

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Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo, is written in the third person but with the full intensity of a first person narrative. The third person is needed because the protagonist, an American draftee during World War I, lies immobilized in a hospital bed from September of 1918 onward for an indeterminate length of time—probably years. He cannot tell his story. Someone omniscient must do it for him.

Joe Bonham first comes to his senses hearing an annoying telephone ringing and picturing himself being summoned home from work because his father has died. When the ring and trip home repeat themselves too often, Bonham realizes it is a dream. Through much of the first half of the novel, Bonham gradually discovers, as he comes in and out of consciousness, he has also lost both arms, both legs, his ears, his jaw, his tongue, and his...

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This section contains 1,184 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Johnny Got His Gun Study Guide
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