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Luigi Pirandello 1867-1936 War - Essay Example

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Sukhwinder Singh Professor Andrea Hart Composition II 26 September 2011 Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) – War The short story War by Luigi Pirandello brings the human tragedy and sorrow associated with wars to the readers’ attention in a very moving and effective manner…
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Luigi Pirandello 1867-1936 War

However, the real skill of Pirandello in War lies in his ability to show to the readers the actual human side of these characters, which does not understand the claims of the country and the King and which mourns and bereaves the loss of the loved ones. The message of the story is that the emotional side of the human existence is simply unaware of the artificial concepts like national pride, courage and bravery, and tends to miss and bereave the loved one’s lost to such noble sounding and lofty causes. The fat man in the story asserts that, “it is natural at their age (boys) should consider the love of their country (I am speaking of decent boys, of course) even greater than the love of us (Pirandello 109)?” While saying so, the fat man as a father sounds to be very matter of fact and committed to the larger claims of nationalism and the duty towards one’s country. While saying so, the fat man appears to be very successful in suppressing the emotional side of his personality to support his so called loyalty towards his country. However, once “the woman in deep mourning (Pirandello 107)” poses a simple question “Then… is your son really dead (Pirandello 109)?” the entire idea of national pride simply gives way. What emerges is a father who is deeply sad and disturbed at the death of his son. “… At the silly, incongruous question- he suddenly realized that his son was really dead- gone forever- forever (Pirandello 109).” A simple question by a grieved mother simply unravels the hollowness inherent in the notions of country, national pride, and selfless sacrifices, to show to the readers the sad, bloody and ruthless side of war. Certainly, the claims of the country look smaller compared to the more pressing claims of the human heart. In War, Pirandello uses the third person point of view. This approach allows the writer to bring out the typical waste and tragedy of war, by extending to the readers an insight into the emotional confusion and anxiety of the characters. To begin with, the omniscient point of view makes the readers think that they are witnessing a simple conversation taking place in a group, during a war. Almost all the travelers in that second class carriage are shown to be talking about the young men from their families, who have been sent to the war. Yet, the very same omniscient narrator brings down these displays of patriotism and national cause, by bringing out the emotional confusion gripping the characters. All the men in the carriage try to score over each other by declaring the magnitude of sacrifices made be their family to the national cause, to be greater than others. To one gentleman’s claim that “You should thank God that your son is only leaving now for the front. Mine has been sent there the first day of the war (Pirandello 108)” the second passenger responds that “I have two sons and three nephews at the front (Pirandello 108).” In this competition for sacrifice and selflessness, these men simply seem to be unaware of the pain of losing their family members. This very emotional confusion shows how much emotionally disturbed they are. The characterization by Pirandello in the story is very appropriate and masterfully brings out the superiority of human feelings over artificial concepts of patriotism an ... Read More
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