The Art of War Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Art of War.
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Keeping the Peace

Unlike other texts in war literature, the thematics of war in The Art of War are not buried in hidden meanings, handled indirectly, or presented with subtlety. Rather, the text speaks directly about military strategy, mass killing, invasions, and logistics. It uses some literary devices to advance its goals, but only to serve the military theory. However, the thematics of peace are quite the opposite.

Throughout this text about war is an implied peace. Peace, one could argue, is the shadow, or yin, of Sun-Tzu's war. As such, it is the subtext of this famous war treatise, serving, in its way, to dampen the effect of Sun-Tzu's descriptions of military strategy. Chinese philosophy scholar Roger T. Ames notes that there is the initial and "explicit characterization of warfare as an always unfortunate last resort. There is no self-promoting militarism." To fight at all, Sun-Tzu asserts, is...

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This section contains 686 words
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Buy The Art of War Study Guide
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