The Great War and Modern Memory Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Great War and Modern Memory.
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Harshness of War

One of the themes of the book is expressed right from the beginning, and has to do with the harshness of war. Fussell spends most of the first chapter of the book dealing with the realities of war. He describes the trenches in detail, how there were three rows with each row having a different purpose. He explains or tries to explain about the smell and the filth, especially after rain. The trenches are cold, wet places. The German trenches were a little more sophisticated than the Allied trenches.

The harshness of war is also exemplified by the fact that many times it could not be referred to directly. This is why there is so much language that came into being to refer to the war. One of the terms that has survived is "over the top". Another way to soften the harshness is to use...

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This section contains 561 words
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